Today is the day we take my daughter to school for her freshman year at college. This is a day that we have been working towards for at least two years. As I lift my sleepy head off the pillow I notice that my left hand is in pain. I must have slept on it wrong. I think my hand must have rested under the weight of my heavy heart!
I shower and dry my hair, but it's difficult as my hand is throbbing. I head to Laura's room to check if she is awake and getting ready to head to the airport and my hand is tingly so I rub it to make it feel better.
I remember 18 years back when I attended a birthing class for Moms-to-be at the hospital where Laura was born. They were teaching us techniques for bearing the pain of childbirth by displacing that pain with another kind of pain elsewhere. For those of you who are not familiar with this procedure, it goes like this: to help you not focus on the pain between your legs due to your baby passing through a channel that's too tight, the nurses had our husbands/birth partners inflict pain to another area of our body, such as pinching our feet. I used to call it the 'Sadistic Husband Pain Inflicter' game, as it seemed to me that our birthing partners were enjoying this procedure way too much. As our feet started to throb, we concentrated on our poor feet but we also stopping thinking about the delivery pain and relaxed our breathing, which will allow a better and safer delivery of the newborn child.
My constant attention on the pain of my hand was taking away my ability to focus on the fact that I am taking my youngest child to college, leaving me with an empty nest and ending a wonderful phase of my life.
It's difficult to lift her luggage into the car, close the door to her room or drive to the airport. But I do not collapse and I do not cry uncontrollably and this makes for a more pleasant separation for the both of us. I thank 'someone upstairs' for making sure I use the techniques I learned so early in her life once again.