Every March I find myself analyzing whether March is going to go in or out like a lion or a lamb. Making it to March feelings like you're finally seeing the light at the end of the winter tunnel and especially this year, since winter's been so awful, I was so looking forward to making it out on the other side. However, as March kept marching on (okay bad pun), I found myself using this lion/lamb metaphor for more than just the weather...
In the beginning of March, my sister Colleen moved to Illinois to be closer to her boyfriend who was already working in Chicago. If you think our Pavona clan celebrated and rejoiced over this display of growing up and becoming independent than you clearly don't know my family :) No offense Nick... this has nothing to do with you; we love you!
Let's break it down by starting with my dad. My dad, oh Phil, would be happy if ALL of us lived in his house with him FOREVER. He is 100% Italian after all and Italians don't let their offspring move away from home easily.
While my mom is much more supportive of us being independent and living out our dreams and aspirations wherever that may be, she can barely go a day without talking to each of my sisters and I on the phone and can barely go a few days without seeing us in person. Now this would seem crazy except for that fact that my sisters and I feel the exact same way about her... it is certainly mutual.
Now let's take me, the eldest of the family...When reflecting on my own life choices, I married someone I've known since 8th grade, went to MSU, which was fifteen minutes away from my parent's house, and settled in Holt, which is maybe twenty minutes from my parents. I don't do risky, I don't do daring, and I don't do new; I HATE change. I have been threatening my sisters not to leave us/me for many, many years. Also, now that I'm a mom and have Nolan and Judah too, the thought of having any of my family not be near me makes me very sad. My boys need their aunts/uncle/grandmas/grandpas.
Despite the fact that my family has always been close and maybe a little too dependent on one another, when adding the fact that we lost my brother, we are more latched on to each other than we even used to be. Suffice it to say, Colleen deciding to, as she puts it, 'rip the BandAid' off and move to a different state was a difficult pill for us to swallow.
We all tried to lap up as much 'Colleen' time as we could as March started out. Saying goodbye to her was worse than I could have ever imagined. I cried off and on for an entire day and just could not rebound or get over it. Dang you March!
As the days went on, we all adjusted and did the best we could to accept this change.
The weather, also still on my mind, gave very small hints to us in Michigan that spring may show up after all. The boys kept getting bigger, kept babbling more, and kept me on my toes. Conferences came and went, my teaching partner returned from maternity leave, and spring break was approaching.
At the end of March, Josh was going to be in Detroit for his brother's bachelor party and plans were made for Colleen to come home to visit and spend time with all of us. My sister Rachel, off to college at Ferris (don't even get me started on that transition of having the baby of the family go to college 2 hours away), was also planning to come home too. We were all super excited. Colleen called me a few days before she was set to come home explaining to me that she had an interview for that Saturday and thought she better not say no in order to come back to Michigan. I was so so sad, but understood.
On the Saturday of Lance's bachelor party, my mom pushed me to be brave and take the boys out to a restaurant by myself for the first time... we can't say no to the Asian Buffet in my family! I showed with Nolan and Judah only to find that Colleen was sitting at the table waiting for us. She had made up the interview story so she could surprise ALL of us (only my dad knew). That has to go down as one of the best presents I've ever gotten. Spending the last weekend of March with my WHOLE family was just what we all needed I think. And so, March went out like a lamb for me. It was also nice weather too :)
Will Colleen be the only one to venture out on her own? Probably not. Will I get any better at letting my sisters go? Also probably not.
But I can continue to accept it a little better and cope a little better too. What will I ever do if one of my kids wants to go to college far away or move far away? Watch out. I am 50% Italian after all :)