Our New Normal
So as many have posted this week on social media, we've seen a lot of firsts, and they start early. First words, pre-k to k graduation, first day at middle school, first day at high school. Those of us that still use Facebook have noticed an explosion of activity. First day at College is one that has hit home for me this week. After an almost full recovery from my son Jack last year, we find ourselves back at Target in College Station for both him and my daughter Kiki. I wore out the credit card in an effort to make their new places feel homey, keep focus off the sadness, and create a comfortable spot for my middle daughter to land and start her time out of the nest. At some point I will recover from the occasional fetal positioned crying I've been going through on her old bed now that we are back home. Many of you can relate to the new quiet, the gut aches, and mutual joy and excitement. But what I can really relate to and also what I see as a huge positive in all this is my third child Samantha, who has a lot of high school left to enjoy. She is going to have an "only child" experience for the first time in her life.
Last night, I caught her reading a secret note her sister had left under her pillow. She was crying, Brett and I were crying, and the note was perfect between two sisters who have depended on each other all their lives. Sam is all alone now on her side of the house. We already see her more than before. Sam has never had to do the talking with Jack and Kiki always handling filling the silence. As parents you love all your kids, but the squeaky wheels get the grease.
But now, thanks to time and life and fortunate events, we get to hear Sam's inner most thoughts, see all her smiles, understand her tears, know her opinions, her hopes and dreams, and her heart in a way that is not overshadowed or ridiculed or dismissed by her older siblings. It's a blessing that we get this time with her. I'm reminded of the daughter of my dear friend - while she was consoling her parents on the way home from dropping their older daughter off at college fours years ago Maddie said, "but Mom, Dad, you still got me?"
Now when people say "at least you still have one at home", I usually respond by saying "yes, but it is not the same", I have been reminded and will now say "it will be better". It isn't ever going to be like it was. It is going to be better for the one that needs it now! It is Sam's turn to shine! The best is yet to come and our little threesome family is gonna have a blast with this, our new normal.