OK, I'm having PEN (Pre-Empty Nest) mental and emotional cramps. The time with my daughter is just slipping away too quickly. This amazing human being of pure light who I held in arms who HAD to completely trust me as a newborn is ALREADY this beautiful, bright, happy, goofy, authentic, funny and, yes, at times confusing and difficult girl.
It's like no time in my life has the type of context that these 12 years have had. it's not like 4 years of high school or 4 years of college because that was mostly me changing without the benefit of seeing it in someone else.
I wish we could all think of a word stronger than love that I feel for her (a friend once said it's "at a cellular level" which really resonated with me). And I get this regular gift of having her as a part of my life (physically in particular).
I have this person in my life who I feel I can be completely myself for and with. I can pour my heart into our relationship without fear. Yes, I do have fears sometimes about her security and well being but I don't fear showing her my heart because in reality she probably still has the ability to see what it's really saying anyway.
I have this person in my life that I can completely laugh and cry with. It's a relationship with a level of responsibility that can't be replicated anywhere. Yes, you could say that some of these things I could find with a girlfriend/wife, but not all of them and definitely not in the same way.
Her happiness is not dependent upon me (although it has quite an impact on it). I'd like to say that my happiness is not dependent upon her but I don't think I can. I mean, why am I fighting back tears as I type this (and not completely winning that fight)?
I come into relationships knowing that I have to be complete in myself and not expect someone to complete me. I've never consciously expected that from Zoe, but in some way I feel, unknowingly, she completes me. It's totally confusing. The relationship that I need to model completeness the most is the one where I seem to be having the most difficulty.
And perhaps this is what I fear most in my empty nest. I won't have her regularly, physically in my life. Every time I've told people how old she is over all those years I've heard "That's a great age". And they were right by the way, every age has been great. Will 18 or 25 or 35 be a great age too?
I'd like to end this post with some type of uplifting thought like "as long as I'm in the moment...." or "ultimately everything will be ok...." or somethng else like this. But today, in this moment I feel emotionally overwhelmed by the time that just keeps slipping away too quickly (maybe I should stop listening to I Can't Fight This Feeling by REO....).
I want time to stop but I can't. I want more than 24 hours in a day, but that's never going to happen.
There will be days when I'm grateful for the beauty and pain that my amazing daughter brings me in my life, but today isn't one of them. Quite selfishly, I want what I know isn't possible with her and it hurts.