On April 30th was my first blogaversary. I had been thinking about how I wanted to celebrate, perhaps publish a year review or invite other bloggers to contribute. I had not marked the date in my iPhone as I was sure I would remember that day. Yet I forgot all about it. Why, you may ask? Because on April 30th, First Daughter announced that she wanted to go back to Switzerland to live with her father. And my world collapsed.
We had had this discussion a couple of months earlier. Of course I had noticed that she had not been very happy and we had talked regularly about it. I thought this was not surprising. After all, she had gone through a lot: First her beloved Grandpa’s sudden death, then all the problems in her parents’ marriage leading to a separation and followed by a divorce. The decision to move to Germany after I met the man who would become Sexy Hubby as I was faced with tough choices and truly believed this was the best option. First Daughter is a thoughtful, caring person who finds it difficult to talk about her emotions. I often feel helpless, as I do not know how to reach out to her and see my admittedly sometimes clumsy attempts rejected. She has also reached the teenage years and we have regular clashes, which is to be expected. So when she mentioned her idea of moving back to Switzerland with her Dad, we discussed it and she was asked to consider all aspects carefully. She then went off on holiday to Rome with my mother to visit my brother. As soon as she came back, she announced that she had thought about it all and wanted to stay in Germany. I felt intensively relieved.
Before Easter I had the feeling that we had become closer. She was most of the time lovely, chatty and helpful, and I thought the fact that I had asked her for forgiveness for all the times I had hurt her had been an important step for both of us. So when she and her sister left to go and stay with their Dad for the holiday, I did not suspect for one second that she would drop this bombshell on her return. The very day of her return, in fact.
Since then, I have been hurting like hell. I know that your children do not belong to you and that you have to let them go. I have never been a “mother hen” particularly and always encourage my girls to think for themselves, make their own experiences and to be independent. But still. I am so not ready to see her go. She has said she hates it here, hates me and the fact that I made the decision to come to Germany. I know all of this is not true and that she has to say these things in order to support this massive step she is taking. She has also used the argument that she wants to develop her relationship with her Dad, and this, I believe to be the truth. Her father is much older than me and I know that she is concerned about him. The fact that he has now reached the age my father was when he died does not help and I suspect that in her mind, the two facts are entwined. First Daughter and my ex-husband are very much alike from a character point of view and perhaps it will be better and easier for her to spend the rest of her teenage phase with him. However, I know that she will miss her little sister like crazy, and vice and versa. I have not told Second Daughter yet, I have no doubt she will be devastated and I am dreading this moment. They will see each other one weekend a month and during the school holidays, as opposed to spending all their time together like now.
Ever since that fateful day, I have had flashbacks of my daughter growing up. What a happy, bubbly little girl she was before her own world collapsed too. I went to the gym the other day and “Let the sunshine in” was playing. I remembered dancing with her as a baby on that song and how much she loved it. Things like this. I also think about the little and big milestones I will now miss and every time, my heart breaks a bit more. There have been a lot of tears, days when I have done nothing but feel my pain, wine, chocolate, and a lot of exercise, which is for me a new way of coping. I am however lucky to have the unconditional support of Sexy Hubby, my sister – I have yet to tell my Mum – and my wonderful friends. You will know who you are, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I hesitated a long time before writing this post, as it is quite different from my usual offerings and very personal. In the end, I decided that it would help me to come to terms with this change and start the healing process. I know that First Daughter is subscribed to my blog and therefore will read this post. I hope she will not be angry with me for sharing my pain in that way and that it will help her understand my feelings better. Sometimes it is not easy to talk. I have told her also that the door will never be closed should she want to come back, that this will not change the love I have for her and to not feel guilty. We all find ourselves at a crossroad at some point and we should follow our heart and our instinct. That is what my daughter is doing and despite how difficult it is, it does make me proud of her.