Children,  Life,  Motherhood

These Will Be The Good Old Days

There’s this catchy song by Macklemore and Kesha (I know, I am just as surprised as you) that has been humming in my head all summer; playing on the car radio in between destinations; on the Apple Music account when Ella is dancing or when Anna is getting ready for the day.

I wish somebody would have told me, babe
Someday, these will be the good old days
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of these good old days

At first, I thought it so true of my teenage years. Man, we thought the best was yet to come (and it was coming) but those were some pretty good days too.

Sleeping in, not having responsibilities, being able to get the food YOU want to eat, buying clothing, makeup, jewelry without worrying about paying bills.

Wish I wouldn’t have worry about what other people thought
And felt comfortable in myself
(HELL YES)

Then as the summer days got shorter it took on a different meaning.

I have cried a lot more than I would like to admit this past summer, especially the week before Anna left for college. Trying to hold onto each day, acting like I am doing great on the outside but on the inside I am screaming and kicking.

Sending your kids off into the world is hard. It goes against everything natural as a mom, quite honestly.

I wish somebody would have told me, babe
Someday, these will be the good old days
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of these good old days

I’ve never liked the end of summer vacation but none less than since I have had children. I have never been one of the moms who can’t wait for the kids to get out of the house in August.

This is not to say I don’t get sick of my kids by the end of July. I do. They drive me crazy to the point of locking myself in a room with a bag of something not so good for me, or maybe a giant tumbler of something not so good for me.

And it’s totally okay if YOU feel like celebrating when they go back to school because we all have different life stuff going on.

But for myself, I never anticipate the third week of August. In fact, I dread it.

I get this homesick feeling inside like I am the one going to school or leaving home for the first time.

I even asked my therapist if that was a normal reaction, to which she smiled and said, “define normal”.

She is so good for me. 

I get tears in my eyes now when I hear certain songs that remind me of when Anna and Ella were small which is funny because at the time I was in the middle of chaos and didn’t really appreciate it.

I wish somebody would have told me, babe
Someday, these will be the good old days
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of these good old days

We dropped Anna off at college last Thursday. I didn’t know if I could write about it because I was afraid that she would read it (she does that sometimes you know), and I didn’t really want her to know how much we would miss her.

But you know what, it’s kind of okay that she knows.

I spent all summer keeping a lot of what I was feeling inside; she knows how hard this is for me (and for her), so why make a bigger deal than necessary?

Oh sure, we talked over and over about how it would be an “adjustment”, how much we would miss each other, but I always made sure that she knew I wouldn’t fall apart, that I would miss her terribly but I wouldn’t be calling incessantly, sobbing in her bed, rocking back and forth.

It’s okay to do those things, she just doesn’t need to KNOW I am doing those things.

KIDDING.

KIND OF.

I needed to be strong for her and maybe a little for myself.

A lot of changes other than just Anna going to college have happened in the past month, and amid all of it, I have found that I am stronger than I thought.

Which is a great thing to find out about yourself, isn’t it?

I have friends who have been through this before, friends whose last child has just left the nest, friends who have been empty nesters for many years and I don’t know what I would do without their words, pictures, stories.

It gives me hope that you know what, I will be okay eventually. That it isn’t a sad thing really, just a change and we all know how well I do with change.

Not good, for those who are new here. 

I used to equate not liking change to being a very negative aspect of myself but I am starting to realize that there is nothing negative about being afraid of change.

Change is hard and some of us are just not as good at it as others, and that is okay.

I wish somebody would have told me, babe
Someday, these will be the good old days
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of these good old days

I promised myself that I would never be that parent who told other parents of smaller children than mine, “you will miss this someday”.

Because it’s really annoying.

When your kids are kicking sand at the park because they don’t want to go home, while wearing a poop filled diaper, chocolate smeared all over their face, and yelling I HATE YOU MOMMY DONT MAKE ME LEAVE!

NO ONE will ever miss that.

But I will miss knowing BOTH of my girls are just down the hallway at any random moment.

Knowing that I can hug my oldest for no apparent reason at midnight or four in the afternoon.

I will miss Annie storming in the house at 3:45 each day dishing about the teenage drama o’ the day or telling me OMG I DONT WANT TO GO TO WORK TODAY MOMMMM.

I will miss tiptoeing around the house because there are a bunch of teenagers in the basement sound asleep, hearing her in her room playing music and laughing, sitting on the patio being amazingly loud and boisterous while goofing off with her boyfriend.

I will miss the piles of shoes sitting at the base of the steps on a random Thursday night.

I will miss the bickering of my two girls, then the giggles coming from her room after they make up and watch YouTube videos together.

I will miss our spontaneous Target and Starbucks trips on a random Wednesday night.

I will miss her texting me from her room at 11 at night asking if I am still awake. Can I come over and talk?

You don’t know, what you’ve got
Till it goes, till it’s gone
You don’t know, what you’ve got
Till it goes, till it’s gone

She’s been at college for four days and I am doing way better than I thought I would, especially seeing as I was a hot mess the week leading up to her leaving.

And she is doing amazingly well too.

We are so proud of our girl but I am also proud of me.

I raised a daughter who wasn’t afraid to spread her wings at 18, unlike myself.

When we were getting ready to leave her, Mike ran to the car to get Anna’s room key that she had left in the back seat (don’t get me started), and so she and I were given the gift of a little time to say our goodbyes alone.

Just the two of us.

Kind of how we started on this long journey.

I told her that I am so proud, that she is so very loved and will be so very missed, and that I am in awe of what she is doing.

That I wished I had done this too.

She cried a little, hugged me, and said: “me too, Mom”.

I wish somebody would have told me, babe
Someday, these will be the good old days
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of these good old days

 

I love to write about my family, John Hughes, tacos and Bruce Hornsby. Not necessarily in that order.

10 Comments

  • Mrs. K. @ Mrs. Kringle's Kitchen

    Aww, so proud of you both. I know it’s not easy for either of you and as someone who also doesn’t do well with change, I know what it can do to the mind and heart. But luckily she’s at a closer school and wasn’t like “I’m moving as far away as I can get!” which says something. One chapter of your story may be coming to an end but another beautiful chapter is beginning. The kind of relationship you have with your mom as a woman and more of a friend is about to bloom and what a wonderful thing that is! Wishing you lots of smiles through tears and no one will mind if you sneak a little something extra into your coffee cup this week. 😉

  • Mike

    So proud of Anna on her next big step in life, and proud of you Kari for being stronger than anyone thought you would be with the change. Love my girls!

  • Shannon

    I’m right there with you, my friend. I wish I could say it got easier the second time around, but it didn’t. I try to focus on all the fun I’ve had with Madeline since she left and know that I have that to look forward to with Isaac, too. Things will never be the same as it was when they were in our house everyday, but the love is still there.

  • Melanie

    Aww, so beautifully written, Kari. I didn’t like it when Tim left for school either – it was just WEIRD. However, I got used to it and actually learned to embrace a quiet house and him spreading his wings, too. The part that always unnerved me though was when he came home on breaks and then would leave. I always felt sad and hollow after he left again. So I guess it’s actually the physical leaving that’s the hardest part.

    Fast-forward to now, and he’s been back at home for two years and we can’t wait until he leaves! lol He’s looking for an apartment (with a friend) but holy geez…rent is incredibly expensive, even out here in our area!

    • Kari Wagner Hoban

      It’s so good to hear these stories! I said to Mike last night that I couldn’t wait for break when it isn’t as quiet. Even though Ella is still here and makes her fair share of noise, the noise is cut in half and that half makes a big difference. But I know I will begin to appreciate it more and more with each week.

  • Terra Heck

    I feel ya girl! My kids still live in the same town but they’re in college or married or have different lives. It’s all went by way too fast. I still look at them as “my kids” and I miss a lot of the “good ole days”. I keep in perspective, though, that there will still be good days.
    Interestingly enough, I’d never heard of Macklemore and Kesha until about a month ago when my 20 yoa son told me he was going to one of their concerts.
    Terra Heck recently posted…Random Tuesday Thoughts – Birthdays and Dog BedsMy Profile

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