Friday, May 21, 2010


I have three grown daughters, ages 24, 22 and 20. When my eldest girl went away to college, she never really came back, and while I live near Annapolis, she now lives in the middle of PA, 3 1/2 hours away.  In the spring after her first year away, she returned home and cleared out her room, packing the things she wanted to keep with her in her new apartment. She loaded her car and told me that whatever was left in her room was mine to keep or trash. Soon after she left, I went into the room and began sorting through her things. The overwhelming emotion that rocked me was more powerful than just about anything that I had experienced up to that moment. I got lost in her yearbooks, her ribbons from pony club, her journals from when she was very young, and it wasn't long before I was clutching things and sobbing. The memory of holding her as an infant, of rocking her and singing to her and just nestling her into the crook of my neck and feeling her breath was powerful and it brought me to my knees. I just wanted one more time, please, to hold her like that. I considered all the wasted times when I just flung her about on my hip and wanted respite, to have someone else take her so I could get stuff done. I would have traded a digit to get one moment back to hold her, my baby.
So I know people tell you to treasure the time when they are very young, and about how these are the best years, and you think to yourself, "really, but I'm so exhausted. Is this really as good as it gets?" and I can tell you, there will come a day when you will miss 3am feedings and you'll be willing to trade body parts for a snuggle.



  1. Wow. My eyes are completely welling up fearing this day. I have a 5 & a 2 year old, and I learn to cherish every moment with my youngest as an infant... my first born grew way too fast. I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to nurse another baby at 3am, but thank you for making me stop and truly take in and enjoy every moment with my children.

  2. Thanks for the reminder to cherish each and every moment. I can't imagine a time when he won't be where he is right now. And, yet I know some of these moments I'll forget, just as I have already forgotten some others.

  3. Laura, I enjoyed your post and remember experiencing similar feelings when Tim, my oldest, left for Loyola! We could easily comfort the kids when they were little, even if it was physically exhausting, but that became more difficult as they grew older and had to learn to deal with life's challenges in their own way. But I have to say, I'm so proud of my four boys and the fine young men they have become!

  4. Wow, now I'm all teary eyed at the thought of my 9 year olds going off to college. I can't even imagine....I don't want to.


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