Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It Was Hard

This is so beautiful to me. Courtney walking into her new life.
I was so glad I could spend another day with Courtney in Seattle helping her get what she needed and get settled. To leave her with a pile of stuff, rushing out the door would have left me feeling incomplete.

It was good we had the extra time because we used every second.

Sunday night after Courtney's dorm meeting, we went out to a late dinner at a burger place in a shopping center near campus. At that shopping center we saw: Jamba Juice, Storables (storage solutions for every need), the Grocery Store and Office Depot all right next door to each other. So, great. We had everything we needed for Monday morning all right by campus.

We started at the grocery store to get Courtney's must-need snacks: Mainly pretzels and cream cheese. A few protein bars. Greek yogurt and cereal for breakfast. 

Next to Jamba Juice for Strawberry Whirl for me and Mango a Go-Go for Courtney.

Then spent a lot of time in Storables which had everything she needed for organizing her dorm. (Desk organizers, bulletin boards, magnetic strips, clip-on lamp, a million 3MTM Command!TM removable adhesive hooks etc. And a lot of things that I wished I could bring home with me. (Courtney talked me into Popsicle makers in squeeze-tubes. Said we HAD to have it for home. (Boys were excited!))

Office Depot for the school-work basics.

We went back to the mall to return some things from the previous day and buy expensive moisturizer for the last time before Courtney has to purchase it on her own dime. 

And then we were done.

When we got back to her dorm, we wondered if I should just wait in the car while she carried stuff up since all the other parents were gone. I waited while she took one load up and saw SEVERAL moms and dads and families still going in and out of the building. So I was going in.

Chen, Courtney's roommate had an international student activity all day which turned out perfect because I could go up to Courtney's room with her and help her get organized. We had fun finding a home for everything and hanging her 3MTM Command!TM removable adhesive hooks in the right places to hang her bulletin boards and decorations, belts and basically anything under the sun you could possibly want to hang.  We kept very, very busy. And then it was 3:00.

I have to go, I said.

I know, she said.

I gathered my purse and packed up some things she didn't need in my bag and made sure my phone was in the right pocket and that I had my rental car keys and my wallet with my ID in it and anything else I could possibly thing of that needed being done and could delay the moment just a minute longer. Or a second. Or anything.

Then I gave her a hug and told her I loved her and I was proud of her and we both hugged and cried. And I feel like I got to say the things I wanted to say. Which I really can't remember now but I had thought a lot about before. And it was really hard. And how do you say, "Ok" and walk out the door on your daughter?

I swung the door open and there was a girl standing right there waiting for someone next door, and so I shut the door quickly and didn't walk out (because I was still wiping tears) and Courtney and I laughed because it was kind of embarrassing. And really being able to laugh and diffuse was a little tender mercy.

So I wiped my face a bit better and composed myself and then I really did walk out the door. And there was a girl at the elevator, so I said, "How do I look? Did my mascara smear?" And she said, "Did you just say goodbye to a student? You look great! No smeared mascara!" And it made me feel better to know there are nice kids there.

And you know what else? I felt great. I felt so excited for Courtney! 

I also wondered if I wasn't marveling at myself for doing something hard. When Courtney was born I was so thrilled with my new little baby. But I was also thrilled at myself for birthing a baby. And I think we've got it on video of me saying, "I did it! I can't believe I did it!" 

So, part of me was proud of myself for saying goodbye and surviving. ("I did it! I can't believe I did it!")  And also at raising such a beautiful daughter. "She's mine. That gorgeous, talented, beautiful, funny, smart kind girl is MY daughter! How did I get so lucky?" 

But I also felt peaceful. The comfort of the Spirit. Assuring me she's going to be just fine.

She's going to have the time of her life. I know I did.

I wouldn't trade the homesickness and the loneliness and all the fun times and the crazy roommates and lifelong friend roommates and being poor and working hard and being bored and going to football games and having crushes, and having boys like me, and being rejected and being in love and staying up late and being surrounded by students, and meeting mentors, and trying new sports and teaching new things to friends, and not knowing where to turn, and figuring things out, and having fascinating classes in areas I loved, and interesting classes in areas I didn't know I liked, and gaining a testimony and gaining faith and questioning who I was and becoming who I wanted to be. 

They are wonderful years. I love you, Court.


Ruby Matesen said...

Oh Angela,
I sure do love you.
A lot.
And I love dearest Courtney Shaeffer (a lot.).
I read this and cried like a baby. This'll be me and my momma in about a week and a half. Crazy. Thanks for such a beautiful post. I loved it.

Julie said...

Thanks for a good cry. I get to do the same thing in 9 days. It is a heart-wrenching privilege. Just wait 'til she gets married!
I have a few posts to catch up on, now that the wedding is over. Having scrolled down a bit, I noticed the new garage makeover. WOW. Can't wait to read about it.

Courtney said...

Gosh, you've got me crying all over again! Thanks for this post...I love it. It captures it all perfectly (including the 3Mtm Command!tm haha). I love you, Mom, and am already counting down the days until Thanksgiving!

Cindy said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing. I was crying right along with you. I love this post!