The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Still a Mom at Sixty

I'm standing in the middle of my daughter's living room with debris and clutter everywhere. The moving boxes are still unpacked. It's 7 a.m. and I've just flown to Los Angeles for the day to help her pack up and move back home.

Actually, I’ve come to make sure she doesn't bring everything she owns back and use my house as a storage unit. As I survey the scene I see hours of work ahead of me. My daughter, Annie, is moving home after four years at college. I'm not sure how long she'll stay, but I'm thrilled to have her for as long as I can get her.

It's hard to believe that one week ago almost to the day I was standing in this very same living room amidst a crowd of her friends and their families celebrating their college graduation.

"Mom, I want you to meet Henry's parents," Annie said as she took my hand and steered me towards her special lab buddy and his parents.

"This is my mom!" she announced.

Just as I was beginning a conversation with them, Annie whisked me away to meet another friend and his mom.

If someone had told me when Annie was in middle school that she'd be introducing me proudly to her friends at college, I wouldn't have believed it. This very same girl who used to dodge me on the school playground if I happened to come to school was now seeking me out!

I'll never forget the first time I came to the middle school for a parent conference, and saw Annie eating lunch with her friends. I waved and smiled, "Hey, Annie!" I called out excitedly. She turned away and pretended like she didn't see me. I was crushed.

I look around the living room again, and I can't believe we have one day to clean and pack up this place. My twenty-two year old daughter, who just hosted this fabulous cocktail party and graduated with honors in bio-chemistry, is standing next to me wondering where to begin.

I don't know what I was thinking; somehow I thought since she could organize precise chemistry experiments in her lab that she could organize a few boxes in her bedroom.

"Annie, you've had all week to pack," I groan as I walk into her bedroom and see her clothes strewn around, some in bags, some in boxes and some on the floor.

"Mom, I'm almost packed," she snaps back at me.

I look at Annie in her shorts, tank top and flip flops. She looks maybe sixteen; but it's really not what she's wearing that I notice, but rather her expression- young, confused and overwhelmed. Then I get it. She hasn't begun packing because she doesn't know how to pack up these precious college years in a few boxes.

Maybe this is why I came -- not to help her pack up, but to help her move on.

By Marilee Stark


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