Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Emotional Eating

My husband was going to the store for the second time yesterday in preparation for some evening guests when I asked him to bring home some cookies. Those chocolate kind with the marshmallow inside.
He didn't point out that I had been eating healthy for a couple of weeks sticking to fruits, vegetables and proteins. He just bought the cookies.
I guess I'm an emotional eater because a few hours of sorting things in my daughter's room, counting the days -- 3 -- before she leaves for college, made me crave cookies.
I ate two when he returned and got back to the business of helping her pack her clothes.
People keep asking how I am with the move to college. I don't have a choice. My role in this is to be positive and upbeat and to eat an occasional cookie.
Grace has taken the emotional road. She cries. She lays her head in my lap when I am sitting on the couch. She hugs me whenever we are within a foot of each other. She holds my hand as we walk through the store to look for new clothes.
She chose the college 10 hours away when she originally protested going away at all.
Now she says, "I don't think I can go."
The tuition has been paid. The classes scheduled. The roommate is waiting.
My only role is to be supportive. I can show no chink in the armor.
"You can do this" is my mantra.
Now her belongings are stacked in bins.
Earl has repainted and reconstructed the window seat that Grace sat on during the play Little Women last year. She will take that with her as a bridge between her high school years and this new independent section of life. She has filled the window seat with her bedspread and mattress cover still in plastic wrapping. Within it are sets of sheets and matching towels never used.
And I can't think about that moment when we pull away from the college and she isn't in the car, when it's no longer my job to put on a brave face.

8 comments:

Sheila said...

It just sucks. That's all I have to say about it. :(

Food Junkie said...

aww........Paulita ....This is the toughest part of being a mother........letting them go.......but im sure she will call and be in touch.......wont be the same thing but it sure will make it bearable.

Diane said...

Paula, I've read your blog for quite awhile and thoroughly enjoy it. This is my first time as a commenter. I went through what you're facing (with my only child, a daughter, too)five years ago. Leaving her at college was equally as hard as leaving her the first time at day-care when she was a baby. We both cried, and my husband was the stoic one. But - you will get past that feeling of loss and you will go on, as will she. Anticipating the "goodbye" was harder than the actual moment. Our daughter called often, we visited regularly, and she was home for all school breaks. We ended up with a new routine that wasn't so bad. After graduation, she moved back in with us for a year, and now has her own apartment 15 minutes from us. It's going to be okay, I assure you. But I know how you feel!

Michelle said...

Call me anytime. We can eat over the phone together. Alex also leaves for college Saturday and Mirae leaves for Europe until spring on the 2nd. It's like kindergarten all over again, without Joan and Denny to help.
I'll be thinking of you all, sending love and thoughts of a wonderful drive.

BigLittleWolf said...

So so SO hard. I have one who flew the nest a year ago, and I had to send him off in a plane with two huge pieces of luggage, and that was that. He's my go-anywhere-do-anything kid, and he was fine. But freshman year was still tough those first few months. There were calls home, just to chat.

This summer, I flew with my younger son to a college campus some distance away - his first time on his own, ever - for a 6-week academic program. SO hard for me to say goodbye and cab off, then leave the next day to fly home.

And a year from now, when he leaves for college? My life? No clue. Absolutely no clue.

Stephanie said...

September 19, 2009 was the saddest day of my life ... the day we dropped Ethan off at UC. I thought my heart would break (I think it nearly did too).

I spent a great deal of time sobbing in the shower, in the bathroom, and on my runs, hiding my emotions from everyone in the weeks before he left, which was ridiculous. The day we dropped him off, the dam broke and I cried for hours.

I just want you to know that you "can" show a chink in the armor Paulita. It's ok.

Paulita said...

Thanks to everyone for your sympathy and insightful comments. It really does help.

Just Me said...

Hey, Had a brief moment of freedom and all I could do is wonder how the move to college was going for you and Grace. She has met every other challenge in her life, both "in her own way" and "wonderfully perfect".

Sending you both good thoughts.

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