Sunday, August 15, 2010

Feeling Needed

As I reluctantly begin to accept how little Caleigh seems to need or want to be with us these days (other than as ATM machines or taxis), the little stabs of pain have been so kindly softened by my mother's re-entry into my life. It's not that she ever left my life. It's just that the stars seem to have aligned in our lives at the moment and she has the time, money and passion to help us decorate our new house and gites. Anyone who knows Susan knows that my mom is an artist and extremely talented in just about everything she does. From successfully designing and manufacturing fine linens for her own company Brown Sugar Designs, to painting gorgeous landscapes, making jewelry, or creating mosaic tables on the side just for fun. And everything she does has always been done with the utmost perfection - very unlike moi who often just feels fortunate to have finished what I start - sometimes at the expense of accepting a few little flaws here and there.

Anyway, my mom is also an avid gamer and embraced Farmville with a vengeance last year. so much in fact that I think she probably set some records in land ownership or animal and barn acquisitions. Our purchase of Petit Clos could not have come at a better time because she has had so much previous "experience." Now, it was time to build and decorate the real thing!

So, a few weeks ago, she calls and wants to see if I can come down to Orange County. She is so excited as she has found some incredible fabrics for only $3 a yard that she thinks will be perfect for our home and gites. Oh, did I mention how much she loves a bargin? Anyway, I drove down on a Sunday morning and we had so much fun finding french country inspired fabrics for our bedding and curtains and in less than just a few weeks time, she has made three gorgeous duvet comforters with accompanying bed skirts, decorative pillows and oh yeah, she also reupholsterd our sofa in between doing all that.

As wonderful as being the recipient of these beautiful, professionally designed bedding has been, the best part has been seeing and talking with my mom on a daily basis and hearing how excited she is every time she finishes another bed set. She told me how she had mentioned what she had been doing to one of her friends recently who replied with a little envy that she wished she could feel as needed from her adult children once in awhile. Wow, I thought, they still want us to need them. And here I've been doing everything to show my parents just how well I can take care of myself without their help all these years. Damn, had I only known, I would have made my needing her a lot more evident years ago. Well, at least I know now.

The funny thing is, when I first told her that we bought the farm in France, I think that she was a little unsure how this would impact our lives and relationship and was a little hesitant in embracing the idea. But, she did so as soon as she realized just how happy this life change had made me. I know there is that tres importante rule out there about loving someone enough to let them go so that they can pursue their own dreams and happiness, but I also know that it is a lot easier said than done in real life. In fact, it is probably one of the most difficult things to do, but something I hope I will also be able to with Caleigh years from now when she tells me that she wants to move a continent away and return to the States.

There are also some things I need to do right now. Let her go a little bit more. Be okay with the fact that I am not longer the most important person in her life. Let go of the memory of her running into my arms every time I walked in the door. She is just doing what she is supposed to be doing if she is to become an independent young woman who will eventually be able to move out on her own and take care of herself one day. Of course, right now, she is still only 13 so we obviously have some years to ensure her wellbeing and safety, but I've got to let the other memories fade away right now so that I can begin to let go. They'll be able to return one day when the time is right and you know, if I am successful at this delicate loving and letting go balancing act, I just might be fortunate enough to enjoy the same wonderful relationship with her as I am having with my mom right now.

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