So, my oldest is off on the next chapter of her life, her first adventure as an adult. The past few months have been leading up to Sunday’s hugs goodbye, but the unfilled space will still take some time to get used to.

Despite several promising interviews, a job locally failed to manifest, so when a family friend offered to hook her up with a room and opportunities in Healdsburg, Chelsea decided to go. A baby step, really — not like she’s off to Zimbabwe or Instanbul or New York City. But 200 miles is still a leap away. And as milestones do, this one prompts review of my life; in this case, my mothering record with all its successes and failures.

(Cue “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen)


This afternoon, I will help Kaylee organize the room that is now solely hers — the first time she’s ever had her own room — albeit with significant Chelsea-chaos left behind. Chelsea told K to feel free to rummage through the debris. K’s been wearing a pair of formerly beloved jeans of Chelsea’s since. Is she happy to have her own room? The question is greeted with a shrug and, “I’m going to miss her.”

Me, too.