I'm Not Here Today—I'm Somewhere Else
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Today, I am the featured writer over at Our Mommyhood, a wonderful site where moms collaborate on motherhood, writing and blogging. I love the site because there's a little something for everyone, no matter what stage of motherhood you're in. Me? I've got the teenage years covered from beginning to end with my trio of all things pink—my girls— ranging from college age down to middle school. 

I took my time, Internet, having these kids. 

I'd like to thank my lovely friend, Liz, one of the editors of Our Mommyhood for having me over to her place. Liz is also the mother of all girls, although her spun sugar cupcakes are still small . . . and sweet. She hasn't experienced the sass, yet. Buckle up, Liz, my Chicago sister. The ride will get treacherous. I promise you that. Liz regales us with tales of her non-sassy girls at A Belle, A Bean & A Chicago Dog. 

At Our Mommyhood today, my post is the one I wrote the day after my oldest girl, Olivia, went off to college last year. I knew I would be sad when she left us, but I was shocked at the utter grief that ravaged my heart when we left her there. I compare its stealthy punch to the same surge of fierce love that overtakes you the minute they put that squalling baby in your arms for the first time. It was just as potent, just as consuming. It was just the complete opposite end of the spectrum. 

I will report that she and I both survived her first year away from us. In fact, we were the better for it. She came back to us this summer, a changed girl full of a grace and sweetness and maturity that only relying on yourself can bring. 

We took her back on Saturday and even though I miss her sweet, beautiful presence here, even though I hate the thought of having one less chick under my wing, she is doing exactly what she is supposed to be doing—figuring it out as she goes and learning to fly. And for that, I am very grateful. 

If you haven't read that post and you feel like crying today, head on over there. Oh, and it did have a video with it of my girl growing up through all her days, but I guess it didn't transfer too well. Sorry about that, Liz. You can find it up in my favorites, but go over to Our Mommyhood and read the post first. Give them some love over there. Thanks!


Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Great writing Joann. Left you a message over there. I have 3 boys but it's hard just the same to leave them and watch them struggle.

Catholic school huh? St.Cecelia's, eight years, then public hs corrupted me.

Lisa said...

Oh Joann, that was beautiful. I am crying.

I'm going to go vote for Bunny again now.

Anonymous said...

I am so scared to read this. My daughter starts her senior year next week and I am already crying just thinking about next summer and taking her to college. ok, grabbing tissues, more coffee to head over to read.

Cheryl said...

Must I go read this? Must I? I have a feeling I will sob into my corn flakes. If I ate cornflakes. Which I don't. But if I did? They'd be wet with tears. And not milk, because I only eat cereal dry.

Sherri said...

Came over from your guest post...love your post there, but still crying!

Baby Sister said...

You're amazing, as always.

liz said...

Truly, it was an honor to host you, Joann! Our lil' site doesn't stand at a level worthy of your contribution. :)

I'm also honored for your shout and, most importantly, being your "Chicago sister!"

Love it!!

Thank you, thank you!!


One Photo said...

I had not read this post, being still relatively new to the blogging world so it was good to read it today.

gmontalvo13 said...

you truly are amazing!

Judie said...

Hey! I thought you were on vacation! Have you gone and already come back while I was in a fugue state? And is that really your daughter? OMG! I am in awe of what you and your man begat!

alicia said...

Congrats on the guest post. I can only imagine how hard this will be for me, as I about lost it sending mine to middle school yesterday. Sigh. Thanks for sharing your eloquent words with us. I always love stopping by and partaking.

Anonymous said...

Au Jus. I love you. That was a beautiful post and also, btw, you make a gorgeous family. Thanks for the reminder, Ivankuiken. I'm going to vote for Bunny again, too.

mdforkids said...

Ooh I can't wait to go read it. Though I'm not sure I can handle any more tears this week. My son started Kinder and my daughter preschool tomorrow. I imagine college will be a blink away...

Unknown said...

heading over, Joann....congrats on posting over there! I love your new look, by the way. Which probably isn't so new, but since I haven't been as good about making the rounds....oy!


Truthful Mommy said...

Just read the post She Goes and I am currently lying in the fetal position in a pool of snot and tears. Beautifully written.My first baby just started kindergarten last week and my wounds are too fresh. I thought labor and delivery was hard, it is nothing compared to the pain of the constant letting go of our children. I send to you BIG GIANT HUGS, I know it was last year but you deserve it. My husband jokes that when my oldest goes to college , I will make the entire relo to where she is. I just
may:)Happy Mothering, my friend!

Missy@Wonder, Friend said...

I'm headed over to comment at Our Mommyhood, but lady, I had to stop here first and thank you for such a lovely, gut-wrenching post.

I read that post this morning and bawled my eyes out! My oldest hasn't even started Kindergarten yet...

Joann Mannix said...

Hi Missy,

Do you have a blog? Let me know if you do. Anyway, thank you so much for your comment. I'm telling you, get ready. These splendid creatures of ours, they rip a mother's heart out on a regular basis.

Thanks for coming by!

Anonymous said...

Awwwwwww....my kids hung around for so long I threw a party when they left!!!

jayayceeblog said...

That is one of my favorite posts ... love the sentiment!

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