Coming of Age

July 12th, 2018 

Today, I stumbled upon a Nintendo Entertainment System for free on Facebook Marketplace. It came with the original Mario Bros. game. I drove an hour and 7 minutes to pick it up and another hour and 45 minutes back. Traffic was horrible. Yes, I felt a tad offended when Lauren and Liam called it "ancient". I had one of these when I was 14.

My oldest kid is leaving for college in 37 days. 

I can’t wrap my mind around it. I don’t know how to describe my feelings. I don’t know what to do with my feelings. I don’t know what to do with myself. Mostly, I am doubting everything I ever did as a mom. I’m trying to distract myself so I don’t crawl in my room and never come out. I think that’s why I bought the nintendo. 

When I was in high school, I used to play the original Mario Bros. on a Nintendo system in the basement. I sat crisscrossed way too close to our box tv. It always sounded fuzzy and made the tiny hairs on your face stand up if you put your cheek to the screen. If you touched the screen, 9 times out of ten you would get shocked. Everyday after cheerleading practice, I played for hours. 

My uncle Flip gave me the nintendo system as a gift when it came out. I think he stole it. I used the money I had earned at my summer job at Taco Bell to buy Mario Bros. High school was the Dark Ages for me. I liked escaping in the game. It made me feel like good could win. After I lost my virginity to Ray only to find out he was in a competition to see how many girls he could deflower, I played even more. Mario was thrown so many obstacles and got knocked down so many times but he always got back up. It felt good to beat levels, beat Bowser. I was a little bit obsessive.

I don’t really know how that’s related to Lauren leaving for college. Just thinking about my childhood ending as hers is coming to an end too? 

July 15th, 2018

I took Lauren college wardrobe shopping today. 

She wanted some more “grown up” outfits. From Forever 21. 

At the mall, she also picked out a new backpack from North Face. When she was trying it on, as I was watching her look in the mirror, I saw that ladybug backpack she had around her tiny shoulders when I dropped her off at Kindergarten. It felt like yesterday.

Can’t keep writing about that, I’ll cry. We’re having Jen and Tom and their kids over for dinner tonight. 

Grocery List

  • Chicken Breast 
  • Something for dessert? Maybe a cake since Tom's birthday was last week?
  • Beans
  • Corn 
  • Taco seasoning 
  • Chips
  • Sour cream
  • Cheese 
  • Cilantro 
  • Taco shells 
  • Salsa 
  • Toilet paper

July 20th, 2018

I confess– I have been playing Mario brothers on the Nintendo system every night for at least an hour or two. Mark and the kids think it's funny. I think it’s therapeutic.

Liam has basketball camp for the next two weeks. Lauren is going on a trip with her friends from highschool after that. Then Mark has a business trip. I have to start and finish summer planning for the fall semester. Then it’s practically time to drive Lauren to Auburn and drop her off. I hate that this summer is going by so fast. I wish we could all be together more before Lauren is gone. 

July 31, 2018

It’s 3 am. Can’t sleep. I’m in the closet. Don’t want to wake Mark.

Lauren walked downstairs and sat beside me while I was playing Nintendo tonight. She had tears in her eyes. 

“I keep thinking about how everything is my last.” She looked down at her hands. She was wearing her favorite pair of One Direction pj pants that I thought she had already packed away in her “Childhood Purge” box. She had left that outside her door a few days ago and I had seen them peeking out of the box. 

“Mom, I don’t think I’m ready to leave.” She hugged me so tightly while she cried. “I’m not ready for you to leave either.” I told her. We held each other for a while. I think it was pre-puberty for Lauren the last time we hugged like that. We fought a lot the past few years. It's been weird this summer too.

I told her she could do it. College. That she was ready. I told her how I think that she can do so many wonderful and amazing things. That I was proud of her. That she has so much to offer the world. I told her that she’ll never have a “last” in our home. We are always a drive or a flight away. I told her all the things that have felt like a lump in the back of my throat all summer. 

This is so sad. It’s hard to express myself. It was beautiful tonight though. I’ll remember that forever I think. My baby girl. 

We sat together and cried for a few minutes. Then she went and got Reese's cups from the kitchen and asked if she could play Mario with me. 

I showed her how to play. I told her about how I thought about Mario teaches you life lessons. Sometimes when it felt like I was making mistakes or kept falling into bottomless pits or the goombas in life wouldn’t give me a break, I would pretend like I could just start the level over again and do better. In Mario you can start the level over and do better the next time. Life is kind of like that, don’t forget you can always start again. She rolled her eyes at me. 

Tonight was nice. 

I can't sleep though because now I am thinking about how I can't restart the level on parenting. Or the time of having Lauren at home. The analogy doesn't stretch.

August 15th, 2018. 

We dropped her off. I can’t even write. I could have never prepared for this. Mark and I can’t even talk. Or Liam. The three of us drove home in quiet tears. 

August 18th, 2018 

You can cry later, Kristan. 

To do list: 

Finish summer planning 

Print packets 

Text Julie 

Get Liam school supplies

Clean out the fridge 

August 24th, 2018

Lauren texted me this morning : “Met my first goombas. Girls across the hall from me are the worst. Might have found my Luigi in math class tho”

February 09, 2024 14:57

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