It is a wonder she hasn't done this before.
Kaia is doing the major clean. As in clean out her room in preparation of giving it up rather sooner than later.
The books will stay, of course, and the trophies and the goofy little troll with purple hair and a jewel in its belly that Annika "gave" her on the day Annika was born, a Happy Big Sister present.
Her very first beanie baby, Rover, and her favorite one, Bones, the dog with floppy ears, and a bear with a knitted sweater with a red heart on its chest, and the eagle she got to go with her high school basketball team, and the Mickey Mouse she got at Disneyland are staying, along with other favorite stuffed animals, on top of the bookcases, along with the silver Peter Rabbit bank and the wooden race car she made in Shop class in 8th grade. Her guitar and hockey stick are staying, and some basketball and soccer jerseys and a few favorite tee shirts from 3rd grade basketball. She has decided to keep her shin guards, but in a cabinet, not on display. I convinced her to keep her Junior High Yearbooks. And we just looked at the packets of photos she took on her 5th grade outdoor education trip, her 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C., and her summers at camp. Those go in the scrapbook box.
It will be her room, still, when she comes home but it is going to be less her room when she's gone.
When will she be home? We've been so lucky. She's spent all three summers of college living here and teaching nearby. And she's been home for a good five or six weeks every winter. And at Thanksgiving, Easter, Spring vacations.
This feels big. She's not exactly moving out but it feels for sure like she is moving on. She may or, more likely, may not move back here after she graduates from Macalester in May. It feels like the end of something important.
So, like a mush, I sit here -- as she organizes and puts folders in boxes and folds clothes to give to Goodwill -- and cry.
I am not at home with this. It went too fast. Did I miss something? Could we have a few do-overs? Not because they were wrong but because they were so right, so very right.
None of the rest of you ever felt this way, I'm sure. I'm the only one. Harhar.
We let go in stages, in inches. Since the day she was born, I've been holding on and letting go. And, as I wrote the other day, even saying, "GO!" I raised her for this. I raised her to pack up and move on. To find her place in a wider world. And she is succeeding, wildly, at that. She's ready!
But maybe we could get out the Beanie Babies and play one more time before she goes.