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This is the second time I’ve done this – watch a daughter grow to 18, complete high school and prepare to leave. It was only two years ago when my oldest daughter Klein graduated high school. Now it’s Maura’s turn.

While I know I will experience a great loss when Maura leaves (as I did with Klein), it has occurred to me that there are some things I won’t miss. Actually, there are quite a lot.

Since I couldn’t possibly mention just those things I won’t miss – because then there would be no doubt I was a terrible mother – I’ve put together a list of both. Here’s what I hate when I think of an empty house, along with what I think might make it not so bad:

What I won’t miss

Every day, I come home to dirty dishes in the sink. This is so true that Marirose gave me a T-shirt for Christmas and written across the front it says, “Why are there dishes in the sink?” She did this because she’s heard me ask that question so often.

Driving two hours to watch a daughter swim for just over one minute.

Getting a text that someone has no money for lunch.

Having to watch four consecutive episodes of “Bones.”

Gathering Friendly’s Frenzy cups, Diet Coke cans, cereal bowls half-filled with milk and Nutri-Grain bar wrappers from the family room.

College applications, college essays, college visits/interviews.

Getting an email with a link to shoedazzle.com, sephora.com or asos.com and a plea for me to understand how beautiful this item is.

Driving through the car line at school.

Walking by a closed bedroom door on a Saturday morning and then a Saturday afternoon while a teenager slept and slept.

Washing loads of dirty towels on a regular basis.

What I will miss:

Saying something so often that it sparks one daughter to make a T-shirt commemorating the words.

Driving two hours to see someone smile at me because I showed up to watch her swim.

Working close enough to my daughters’ school that I can run over with something they forgot, like lunch money.

Sitting on the couch watching endless hours of TV with a teen who rolls her eyes when I point out how unrealistic this show is.

Seeing the family room filled with signs of the hustle and bustle of life.

Reading a completed college application and marveling at who this child has become.

Sharing the excitement when a young girl sees something she loves, even if it is a pair of heels.

Hearing three girls chatter as we drive to school.

Watching my children sleep.

Having colorful, kid towels in use around the house. We even still have a pink Barbie towel.

 

When I compare the lists, it seems even the most tiresome bother really isn’t so bad. And so with this month comes – again – the realization that there’s so much to miss when a daughter must move on. I’m happy for Maura and all that lies ahead, and I’m thankful for all the joy she has brought into our home. I will, most definitely, miss that.

June 2014
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