I was snapping out of it.
Truly, I was. I was turning from 30-boo-hoo to the highly endorsed 30-woo-hoo. I was making a list of the things I would do this year. I was researching diets. I was recommitting to fitness.
And then I brought my sister-in-law to college. That act, in itself, was traumatic. She was my free babysitter. My "sweet treat" delivery girl. She introduced me to the Twilight series and complimented my cooking (most of the time). She entertained me with high school drama and was, in general, a wonderful playmate not just for Addie, but for me.
It was stoic determination that I made small talk and laughed three hours up I-75.
I knew that I would miss having Nikki around. I knew that our family dynamic would change.
I knew that my husband would feel old with his youngest sibling shipped off to school and that Sunday dinners would be quieter without her.
We unloaded the cars and unpacked boxes and bins. Her bed got made up in lime green and blue. Her shirts and sweaters found a place in the closet. The new futon was assembled and the fancy TV plugged in. Her desk got organized and reorganized. A trip around campus, a few new sweatshirts for the fam, a lunch at BW3s, a quick trip to Meijer for some essentials and it was time to get on the road.
Leaving her behind was hard. Saying goodbye was quick, to avoid all of our tears. But the hardest part of day? That, THAT, was the following scenario:
- Walking through campus. Andy pushing Addie in the stroller, me walking beside them.
- Brian and Nikki strolling behind us. Patty and Kim walking behind them.
- I said some snotty snide comment to Nikki, pretty standard for us. (What? I can't even remember, but I'm sure it wasn't nice).
- Nikki kicked me in the bottom as hard as her huge foot would allow.
- Laughter erupted behind me, repeatedly, and a chagrined young man walked away from us, quickly, toward the dorm.
- Said young man had said (after the painful kick) to Patty and Kim "Man I would never kick my (wait for it)...MOM".
Oh my shit, I was just mistaken as the mother of an EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD.
When we got home, I had a beer and two hefty glasses of wine...but the pain was barely dulled.
Guess which one I am the mother of....
Mmmmm, Wine. Gulp, Gulp, Gulp.