Monday, April 25, 2011


I don't know how they did it. There's always the joke that perhaps they were glad to get rid of me, their fifth and final child, but I really don't think it would have been their choice to send me away that summer. But when I talked to my parents about the opportunity I had to spend the summer of 1987 in an out-of-state apartment with my three closest hometown friends and a friend-of-a-friend, they were nothing but supportive.

It was the summer after my first year of college no less. After seeing their baby off to school the previous September, Mom and Dad listened patiently to my excitement of how I had the chance to share the summer with old friends. We had a place to sublet for a few months and before long I'd gotten a job at Filene's Department store. Of course I did not make much money that summer. I spent all of my paychecks, that did not go towards rent or groceries, on clothes bought with my employee discount! But I did make a lifetime of memories. There were endless private jokes created that summer. There were laughs over everything including one scary afternoon when we returned home to find the apartment door open. How incredibly patient those policemen were when they came to our rescue! There were road trips to surprise my then-boyfriend, and there were incredible heart-to-heart talks with the three young women who in just 18 months would serve as my bridesmaids and/or maid of honor. I accepted Eric's upteenth marriage proposal at that apartment that summer. After months of thinking I was too young and saying "No", I was quick to run to my friends and announce my engagement when I changed my mind.

But here I am now 24 years later, anxiously awaiting the return of my 19 year old daughter. After her first year of college she is coming home for the summer in just 10 days. She has secured a summer job and her sister is making room for her old roommate. I suppose I would have been understanding and supportive if she had decided to spend the summer elsewhere. At least I would like to think I'd have been supportive. But in all honesty, I am grateful she is coming home. I've missed my first born these past 8 months. It will be a beautiful thing to have my family all together under the same roof for the summer of 2011.

I returned to live at home the summer of 1988. I babysat my nephew but mostly took time to play. My excuse that summer was that I would save money and plan my November wedding. Yet I know that in my heart I wanted to have one last summer at home with Mom and Dad.

Letting go and cheering on a young adult's new found adventures is a necessary milestone. My parents were ultra cool about it all. I don't know how they did it but when it's my turn, I will channel their courage, patience, and love. In the meantime, I'm going to countdown these next 10 days.

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