Today my beautiful, not-so-little girl moved to Toronto. This has been her dream for oh so long and I am so proud and happy and also a bit sad.
Here's the thing. A mama's heart breaks in intervals and then expands to encompass all those breaks and tears that come along with watching a child grow up and away.
Whether it's their first day at school or at daycare or at the sitter's, or their first time dating or moving out, or your first Christmas spent apart, it pulls on a parent's heart whenever our little ones expand and grow a little bit more.
Our child(ren) growing up is inevitable, yes, but the heart still hurts. And the hurt makes the heart grow bigger and makes us more grateful for the remaining time spent and also more capable of letting go just a teeny bit more.
What choice do we have, really? We can either embrace all the changes or resist them, so I just cry all my tears with each new evolution and then welcome the new chapter with open arms.
What I'm extra grateful for is that I've been gradually getting used to Paige's increasing independence over the past year because of how her life has unfolded. She first moved out a year ago, but that was fairly local and pretty short-lived. Then when she moved back in, about 95% of her time was spent between work and her friends and her love, so it was like she wasn't actually living here even though she was.
Because of this, I was able to adapt to her lack of presence and be surprised and overjoyed whenever she made an appearance - until she'd make a mess and then I'd bitch like usual. But there was a comfort in knowing she was in the same city. I knew she'd pop by eventually. But last week she signed the lease and voila! She's officially a Torontonian.
Now it will be me doing the visiting because we all know that Toronto is way cooler than Cambridge (or so I've been told). I'm not a fan of the big city but whatever it takes to be with my girl.
Also, I love, love, LOVE and don't take it for granted that I'm able to be part of each of Paige's big moments because some parents are not as lucky. Not every family is close and connected. Not every child gives a warning - they just go. Not every child stays in the same province or even the same country. And sadly, not every child makes it to adulthood.
So I appreciate what I have with Paige. We are lucky to fight over stolen clothes, makeup and jewelry. We are lucky to know we have one another to turn to no matter what happens. We are lucky to be best friends.
And I am lucky to have a fabulous daughter who wants me to come party with her in the BIG city. It looks like Toronto will need to prepare itself for regular doses of Mandyland. And who knows. I might even learn to like it there.
With love and an extra room for kitties and yoga,
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