It’s been a month since Eden moved out.
I’ve felt like I expected to feel, generally. I miss her a ton, I wonder what and how she’s doing, and there’s definitely less action on a daily basis. No blonde tornado whirling in and out, hair flying, feet stomping up and down the stairs, tv blaring behind a closed door. No more waiting up to catch a glimpse of her before bed, no more poking my head in her room to see if she is up and getting ready for school. Just quiet where there was unquiet before.
I knew I’d miss her and I think I struggled internally for months over letting her go. Struggled with both the thought of my longest relationship changing, and the push and pull of her desperation to get out and mine to keep her with me. I see now that I put off looking at apartments, that I was depressed at the thought of my home without her in it, and that it just settled over me like a sad mantle for months. Once it happened, it was almost a relief. I could finish mourning and move on.
So it’s gone for me like I mostly thought it would. What’s been the bigger surprise is how it has gone for Eden.
She couldn’t wait to get into her own place. She was ecstatic when we found a spot we agreed on, and she’d been planning for months in her head how she’d decorate, how it would feel to be in her own space. And when move-in day happened, she couldn’t stop hugging me and thanking me and telling me how happy she was. I didn’t hear from her really for the first couple of days. When I did, she’d tell me how great it was to be in her place. Then slowly, she started texting me at night. Just general things like, “what are you doing?” or, “I’m bored.” And now, I think the reality of it all, the get up and get yourself to school and work, do your laundry, take out the trash and man, it’s quiet in here…I think the reality has settled in and the novelty has worn off. And sometimes I get texts in the middle of the night…
I have to say, it makes me sad to wake up to these texts, and I’m surprised by them, honestly. I really thought she would hardly look back. And it makes me happy, too. Because apparently, home was a pretty nice place to be.
So often in my childhood I felt transient. Divorced parents, time split in half between them, never feeling totally a part of either home. I haven’t been a perfect parent, but I think I can say definitively that my children feel deeply rooted with me and know exactly where home is. And even if Eden is in an apartment now, and when she’s in the one after that and then the one after that, her home will always be with me and we both know it. I take her home with me no matter where I go.