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Where Did it Go?

As I send my oldest off to college, I have to wonder where the time went!

OK.

I'm in serious trouble.

Any of you who have graced me with your online presence by reading these posts know by now I have five kids.

My clan ranges from a 6-year-old Kindergartner to a graduating senior. Yes, I said a graduating senior, as in high school.

That’s where my troubled story begins. No, it’s not that my child is wayward. She’s a really good kid truth be told.

No, she has not joined the Moonies or any other weird cult except if they have one for slobs. That one she could join with most other 18 year olds I suppose.

The trouble is far more simple.

She’s leaving us! She is headed off to Bucknell University in the fall to run cross country and study math, science or whatever else strikes her fancy (and hopefully garners her a paying job in four years time.)

The impact is really just beginning to set in. Lately, little events have come up (Mother’s Day, her brother’s birthday, the final track meet of the season) and either Haley or one of us has suddenly realized ... she won’t be with us when we have the event next year.

She’s going to college.

It’s still hard to type the words. You see, Haley and I have been together a while now - 18 years, 5 months and 15 days to be exact.

They say it goes by fast and I am here to tell you they are right!

Just yesterday this beautiful baby girl was born all pink and perfect. (She really was perfect because No. 2 and No. 4 were not so pink and perfect upon entry. So I speak the truth.)

For five whole years it was Haley, her dad and me - doing it all. I made her adorable sweatshirts for every holiday, sent out volumes of photos to friends and grandparents, went for many a run together in the jogger, dressed like twins occasionally and more.

Just yesterday I had to take her to the hospital for her first stitches because she got pushed down at daycare. Last week I dropped off on her first day of Kindergarten.

She could not be swayed out of her pink tutu, work boots and jean shirt. (She insisted. I resigned.) 

Twelve years ago she and her little buddy Dan watched from the grass in awe as a neighbor’s daughter got whisked to the prom in a fancy limo. My friend Cathy and I both said aloud “I can’t imagine the day when these two kids will go to a prom.”

The prom came and went last year and I had a flashback to that very day and called Cathy to reminisce. We both cried.

It’s not that I’m one of those over protective moms. I pride myself on how independent my kids are.

On one hand, I’m excited to see her go and start this new chapter. I hope her roommate is a slob too, but mostly I worry I’m not done with the instruction manual yet.

In the pie of life, this slice can’t possibly be gone. But here it is in front of me so I’m really going to savor the last crumbs this summer.  Some people cry at the drop of a hat. I’m not one of them, but I’m not sure how I’m going to make it through the graduation ceremony on June 3 given that I was crying at the Zach and Cody Graduation Special on Disney Channel last week!

So, my advice - as you sit and tear your hair out when your 4 year old has a special meltdown in aisle 3 - is to savor it all. This too shall pass and boy oh boy, it passes fast! One down, four to go!

Mary Murphy is the mom of five, wife to one and president of Hooray for Books in Hopkinton. To read other blog stories written by Mary go to www.hoorayforbooks.com/blog.

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