Next week my niece Belle is leaving for college on a softball scholarship that she has worked almost all 18 years of her life for. My sister is a wreck. Just the mere mention of Belle leaving I see my sisters nose turn a little pink and her eyes become glossy. Me on the other hand, I’m excited for Belle and haven’t been much of a comfort to my sister because I keep hoping she will also get excited for her too!! But she just keeps crying.
Because I have been on the sidelines of this goal I am accustomed to Belle (and my sisters family) being “gone”. If they weren’t at games from little league through high school, there was practice so many days a week. There were travel ball tournaments, games and practice all year round because when the goal is to get scholarships to college you live at the ballpark, and I understand that. So now that we’re at the beginning of what was suppose to happen all along, I am SO excited!! Belle is the first of our children to leave the nest and go to college and I am SO proud of her, plus having a reason to take weekend trips to San Francisco more frequently is a huge bonus!!
When I had my daughter and found out she would be differently abled, I was happy every time she woke up in the morning and I got to be her mom another day. I never expected she would have a “normal life” and so the goal was to make sure the life she had was fulfilling because in spite of her heart disease and other physical disabilities, it was our goal to just get her through life as normal as anyone else.
When she graduated high school I think we simultaneously sighed with relief as she walked across the stage of the amphitheater as she received her diploma. I never expected that she would meet and marry the man we all secretly prayed God would somehow bring into her life, I just assumed she would live with us forever but God did. So that day came for her to be married and we rejoiced with tears as we gave our special girl away to the man God had planned for her all along. We had no plan but for her to be with us forever so when she left to begin her own life I think I was happy to see her go and I think that’s where my excitement for Belle comes into play.
I always expected Belle would leave home and go off to college, it’s always been the plan, it’s what she’s worked for and anything otherwise would be unheard of!! Im thinking that my sister having such a hard time with Belle actually leaving is because even though my sister knew all along this was the plan and this is what they worked so hard for, she never prepared herself for the day Belle actually had to leave.
I hate seeing my sister so broken hearted and I don’t want her to think I’m being insensitive because that’s not my intention. I guess I just can’t wait for her to get to the place where her face shines with pride at the notion of her baby girl being “away at school” or “coming to town to play Cal State San Bernardino”. I can’t wait for my sister to be able to have a small break from the chaos of having two kids at the ballpark and for her to be able to feel the sence of pride she is so deserving for all of the time and money she sacrificed to get Belle here.
I guess in the meantime I need to just contain my excitement and keep extra tissue on hand for my sisters pink nose and behind her back I wil give big cheesy smiles and thumbs up to my baby Belle because someone has to get this kid excited for what’s to come and it may as well be her auntie.