Saying goodbye to Angelique Hope

It is finished.

I survived!

It wasn’t as bad as I imagined it would be. 

The hardest part of dropping off my newly turned adult daughter at college was watching her say goodbye to her younger sister. They hugged. Angel told Arabella to call her if she needs any advice. She told her to enjoy having her own room. A few tears threatened to escape when they told each other how much they will miss each other. 

Now why couldn’t they get along that well before??

For the first time in over a decade, I will be actively parenting only 2 children!

We woke up before dawn to pack all of Angel’s belongings, including her beta fish, into our truck. It was an 8 hour round trip for Paul and I. I am totally exhausted tonight, so this will have to be quick.

It was an emotional day. 

Bittersweet. 

It was hard to say goodbye. Hard to keep things together. 

I wanted to keep her forever. Instead, I let go of her hand today. 

It was okay. I know she is where she was meant to be doing what she is supposed to do. She is happy, healthy, smart, full of faith, and makes good decisions. What more could I want?

It is going to take some time before I don’t expect a response when I call out her name. 

She is not here anymore.

But my house is not empty.

I still have other children to raise..

I know she will be okay.

I will be okay too.

The end – 911, poison control, and other parenting mishaps

I called 911 once, but the call never went through.

I made the call from a big clunky cordless phone that sporadically worked. 

I am so glad the call didn’t go through. It would’ve been so embarrassing. I couldn’t imagine having to explain how my daughter’s finger got stuck in the toilet.

Well, it wasn’t exactly like that.

My mom gave Angel a toilet piggy bank when she was potty training. Everytime she went potty, she was allowed to put a coin into the toilet bank and it would make a flushing sound. Except on that one day when she put her finger into the bank instead of a coin. Her finger got stuck and I failed to get her finger out. I even failed at calling 911. It was terrible. Angel was screaming, her finger was swelling, and then she started to shake.

I immediately went into tunnel vision panic mode. My IQ dropped 50 points instantly. My daughter and I were hysterical. 

If you think that I am a nurse, doctor, or EMT…please stop….. Could you imagine?? Ha hahaha. 

I eventually discovered that I could release her finger by pushing down on the lever instead of trying to pull it out which locked it.

It’s a total wonder that Angel survived her childhood. 

Tomorrow we are dropping her off at college. We are saying goodbye to our firstborn for the first time. 

I have been anxious about this moment all week. Will I remain cool, calm, and collected as I wave goodbye for the last time? Will I be a weeping, hysterical mess of a person? I am afraid. I am not one for public weeping or making scenes.. Will I be heartless if I keep it together? Or will I be a slobbering raccoon eyed mess? 

When my kids were little, I told myself that I would keep a journal of everything that happened. 

I remember when Angel had many imaginary friends. One of them was named Volleyball. She was so upset when Uncle Luke told her that he got hit in the head with a volleyball. How could her friend do such a thing? Now I’m taking her to college…

Alex used to draw cute little stick people with big heads and eyes. He used to cry when he heard “monster” trucks go by because he was afraid of the monsters growling in the trucks. He was such a mama’s boy. Now all of his little drawing are put away in storage, he is driving, and he wants nothing to do with me…

Arabella used to drive us all crazy by pretending she was a cat. She would meow and crawl around on her hands and knees.. Now she is a teenager too.

Where did the time go?? I feel so bad that I never did write in my journal like I wanted to. I could’ve filled it with so many things.. Memories that are now fading or forgotten..

I did the best parenting job that I could. I don’t have any regrets.

It’s a match!

Taking my daughter to college orientation brought back my college days. I was on the 5 year plan. I double majored, didn’t take summer classes, and worked part-time. Half of those years, I commuted from my parents house or lived in an apartment off campus with friends. But the first year of college, I lived in an apartment on campus. 

I found it fascinating that my daughter had the opportunity to pick her own roommate. They had to create an online profile with their picture and a short description of themselves. They also had to rank themselves on several scales such as cleanliness, etc. Then when they found someone they thought would be a match, they were encouraged to talk to them more through social media which included scouring through all of their online pictures and comments. It reminds me of online dating. I mean, not that I ever used it. Being with the same person over 20 years severely limits my knowledge of online dating. Thankfully after conversations with a dozen people and a serious let down, Angel finally found the “right one”.

I really wish we had that back in the day. My first year on campus, I was thrown into an apartment with another freshman and two seniors. The two oldest roommates were absolutely psycho. I shared a bedroom with a nice Catholic girl (Krista) that never had a boyfriend. She really was into New Age music. Yeah, she was a bit strange but nothing compared to the other two.

After a couple of weeks, one of the roommates (Kate) sat us down and told us that she was HIV positive. This was back in the early 90’s, a time when everyone panicked about HIV. People thought that they could catch it from a toilet seat. What if she cut herself shaving or got a bloody nose? God forbid! My mother was ready to drag me back home. Sometimes I would come home to find Kate crying and freaking out. The other roommate (Kathy) who was her best friend would comfort her. It was always ackward. I never knew what to do so I locked myself in my room. 

It wasn’t long before the older senior girls took over the living room area. They decorated it with crazy Halloween decor and penises. The walls were plastered with that crap. One day, my mom told me that she was going to come by to visit with my Aunt Jan and her little boy. Now my Aunt Jan is very religious. I knew she would freak out if she saw the state of our apartment. I pleaded with the roommates to take down to penis pictures. Thankfully they did, although my aunt never did come to visit that day.

We also had a chore chart in the apartment. After you completed the chore, you would slide the chore down to the next person’s name. I always left for the weekends, so I would get back and all of the chores would be in my name. I ended up having to do their sink full of dirty dishes from over the weekend. I think I made a stink about it, but it was three against one. 

One day while I was doing my chore of taking out the garbage, I saw something rather interesting. I saw Kathy kissing Kate’s boyfriend. They were making out in the parking lot. After that, my roommates didn’t seem to be best friends anymore. I ran into Kathy a few months after we were no longer roommates. She told me that Kate didn’t have HIV after all. She said that Kate was just pretending so that she could be the center of attention.

Back in the day, I wish we could’ve picked our own roommates. I know my daughter will have a better experience than I did. Every weekend they have scheduled activities. I don’t remember ever having anything like that. The most fun I had was running out in a nearby field with Krista twirling around in long skirts just before a storm hit. It was my one time free spirit moment. College sounds like so much fun now that I wish I could live that part of my life all over again there. 

Even during the campus tour and auditions, it sounded like a wonderful place to be. So wonderful that I mentioned out loud to my husband that we should quit our jobs and apply. The advisor commented that they do have a few non traditional students. Last year there was an 80 year old freshman. I said, “I sure hope that he wasn’t living in the freshman dorms”. Lol.

It sure is a lot easier letting go when I know my daughter will be in a wonderful place.