Sunday, February 9, 2014

Preparing for Aloneness

    I’m alone in my house this morning, on a Sunday, which is unusual. Normally, my husband and daughter would still be asleep upstairs, and I would be basking in the glorious solitude of my morning coffee.  Today, both of them are off doing things that they need to do, and I am here with dog, cat and horses, staring at the frozen landscape in the empty silence.  It feels a bit like standing on the edge of a cliff yet not being able to see what lies ahead.

     Recently, as I sit in our family room in the evening, I spend a fair amount of time looking at our daughter, wrapped up in a soft red blanket, wearing her ever-present white headphones as she listens to her music and types on her computer. Her puppy snuggles at her side, getting a scratch on the chin or the ear every once in a while.  I used to try to get my gorgeous lanky child to “do something” whenever I caught her being a couch potato. Now, I cherish the sight, aware that in a few months, there will be an empty space here in the nest.  At night, when I go out to feed the horses, fill water buckets and spread shavings for bedtime, I still have my sidekick with me, complaining that her fingers are frozen and that the tire on the wheelbarrow needs more air.  And suddenly,  I love the sound of her grumbling since I know that soon it will be the exception rather than the rule. Next winter, there will be a different rhythm and a new routine that mostly I will do alone.

    So, I am full of appreciation right now for all of the moments that I have where everyone and everything is fine and here with me and happy.  I have no idea what I will be doing after I’ve cleaned the closets, painted those paintings I’ve been wanting to paint, written the last chapter of my book, taught the dog to walk calmly on a leash and started Life Part 2 next fall. Hopefully, I’ll get all the nostalgia and indulgent snippets of sadness out of the way in the next few months while I still can sneak into my daughter’s room when she’s sleeping and can't get annoyed, while no one sees me tuck the blankets around her and kiss her gently on the forehead.

    One thing I’m sure of, come next September, those two horses are going to get a lot more attention than they are used to, and I know they won’t be complaining one bit.


Lori Skoog said...

Passage.... It happens to all of us who have kids sooner or later. It's their turn to go out into the world and as a parent, I hoped they would take with them the values they absorbed while living at home. When our youngest daughter came home from college the first time she was very appreciative of the life she had growing up. Some of her new friends were not so lucky. You will get used to it, and when she comes home you'll take advantage of your time together. I always cried when our kids left to go back to school or work, but knew it was going to be one of the best times in their lives. I wish I had saved all of the letters and post cards we got. They were so sweet.

Victoria Cummings said...

Lori - Your kids are a shining example of how to do it right. I too hope that my daughter will take with her the values she learned growing up here. So far, so good - we're very proud of her!

Grey Horse Matters said...

You will definitely miss her when she's at school but it makes the visits home very special. I'm sure she will take the values she grew up with and make you even prouder than you are now. Letting them go and grow is very hard but also very rewarding when you see the wonderful person they have become. You will get through it, we all do.

Stella is gorgeous by the way.

juliette said...

Oh, Victoria, I hear you on this one...our Maizie is 15 and won't be leaving until the fall of 2017, but still, with the new year, I feel time slipping through my fingers.

You are so smart to enjoy it all now and the sneaking in at night - I do that too!

Bonnie Marlewski-Probert said...

Your daughter will leave a teenager and return an adult. Something to look forward to!

We are publishing a new book entitled, Horse Tales for the Funny Bone. (We are the creators of the 7, Horse Tales for the Soul books and audio books.) This new one will be used as a fund raiser for Therapeutic Riding Centers around the USA and I would love to invite you to send in a funny story of your own and would like to ask you to share this invitation with your audience (blogging, FB, twitter, etc.), so we can get the funniest and best stories possible. We have a page on our website set up with all the details. That page is located at:

THANKS for helping us get the word out on this fun project that will help thousands of children and horses around the country!