She returned late last night with her dad from a 2 day orientation at the University of Washington where she will be attending school this September, September 8th to be exact.  Classes won’t begin until the 27th, but September 8th is the day that we drive her through our fields of Gold and over the Cascades to the city by the Sea.  I am trying to not really think too much about this day and just praying to the mother goddess that I will be able to handle this season with strength and joy.  It really is joyous.  How exciting for Amelia to begin her next main chapter of her life in Seattle… and how fitting, since this is the place where she began. Literally, she came into being in the house boat we called home and entered into her own existence the day after Thanksgiving in 1998 at Group Health Central on Capital Hill, the hill that overlooks the Puget Sound..  So much to be grateful for that year and every year since.

A few weeks before she was born Carolyn, my “other mother” and I went for a walk around Green Lake.  The trees were beginning to turn to gold and the air was crisp and refreshing after the humid summer heat.  Carolyn is my best friend’s momma.  She is a long and lean woman with olive toned skin, amazing cheek bones and has the soul of a gypsy.  I will never forget what she told me on our walk that morning.  In anticipation of the birth of my first baby she shared with me that from the moment a mother gives birth, she begins the process of letting go…  Cutting the cord, first steps, kindergarten, sleep overs, middle school, summer camp, a driver’s license, her first boy friend, and now college…  Breathe, in and out.  I am consciously watching my self let go of Amelia.  But I don’t know if I can… my heart aches, my throat feels funny….

Mostly it is her safety that bothers me.  Thoughts flash in my mind of scary possibilities and I just try to let them pass.  I have lectured her countless times about making safe choices at all times and she politely listens and says ” I know Mom”…. And somehow, my soul believes that if I remember to always tell her to drive safe before she leaves the house, that by doing so, she will indeed return home to me.  The other key aspect I struggle with is the fact that she is leaving me to go to a place where I often long to be, my first home.  A place where my mom and best friend live, a place I still have dreams about, a place near water.   I ruminate about feelings of jealousy and longing to be where she is and wonder if these feelings will intensify for me once she is gone.  How will this affect me, how will this affect my marriage, how am I going to handle this change of season of my life?  Tim knows this has been on my mind and he reassures me we will return to my homeland someday.  Hard shit.  My plan is to handle it with courage and grace, courage and grace, courage and… grace.

I am excited to see what she does with her life.  The name Amelia means the defender as well as industrious and striving…  Her names suits her well….  My Amelia is kind of a no nonsense kind of girl, thick skinned like her dad (most of the time) and slightly ambitious like her mother.  She is also incredibly loyal.  I worry about her heart when she and her first love go their separate ways at the end of this summer.  And so does she.  He is heading to college to play baseball in Vancouver, happy for him.  I care about him too.  In fact, the other day on my birthday, Caleb sent me a sweet text and thanked me for being like a second mom to him… Huh. Now I am someone else’s “other mother” like Carolyn has been for me.  LIFE.

Oh Amelia, know that you are never alone.  Know that you have many souls walking along side you at all times helping to guide you and keep you safe.  Know that you will make mistakes and that your job is to pick yourself up, to learn, and to keep moving forward.  Don’t be afraid to take risks and know that you are capable of becoming whatever it is you want to be.  Always believe in yourself.  You are loved, you are wanted, you are forever mine.



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