Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Soon-to-be Kiwi!

Today is this girl’s birthday.


Today she’s on American terra firma.

But this weekend, she flies off to a school semester in New Zealand. When she said she was going A.W.A.Y., she was serious. I am not over the fact that all of Bo’s friends are grown up and doing very grown up things like leaving their mamas. Which is obviously wrong. On so many levels. You would think they want to have their own lives or something. We didn’t instill enough guilt or a sense of overwhelming responsibility toward those who carried them tirelessly, through the snow, and uphill, in their bodies. We failed to horrify them sufficiently with stories of thrashing and agonizing pain as we brought forth our firstborns. (Well, that’s probably not true but they may have failed to pay attention and we should have rapped them on the knuckles and made them focus.) Here she is (bottom right corner) with other oblivious girlfriends (my daughter included top right, Kaylee top middle, and Maddie top left) looking entirely too happy. Do you see the girl at the bottom left? That's our Ms. Jenna. SHE just came back from school in England. What did we do wrong?!


And now, just like THAT, more of them are off on big time adventures and seeing new states and countries and colleges and meeting complete strangers. Strangers who will become friends. Friends who will not know the stories of personal sacrifice each of their mothers endured. They will be friends who are escaping the same stories and who will also feel no guilt. For Pete’s sake. New Zealand, I just hope you appreciate what were sending you. One of our sweetest, our best, and our brightest. Now don’t go finding her a husband down there and trying to keep her. We’re loaning her to you. Just like a library book she has to be returned. Promptly. You canNOT afford the fine.

Ms. Kelsey, you will be missed and you are loved. We will be watching Facebook for CONTINUOUS hour-by-hour updates the whole time you’re gone. You know this is required. Don’t make us get up and come down there!

And by the way, PLEASE take some close up pictures of just YOU! I realized when searching your Facebook for photos that this type of picture is almost non-existent. True to sweet form, you include your friends in nearly every photo.

Here’s Kelsey front and center with Ms. Jenna (right) and our Bo. And that’s how you’ll find nearly every picture of her – sharing the moment with friends.


You deserve every happiness, sweet girl. Fly off, have fun, grow, laugh, be a blessing, and when it’s time, we’ll all be waiting for you to come home and tell us about your adventures.

"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say"
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Fellowship of The Ring"

©Copyright 2010


  1. Have an amazing time, Kels. But do NOT think of giving my Jessie any ideas.

  2. She'll have an amazing time! We moved to NZ 5 years ago and I can never wait to come back home for a holiday! what part of NZ will she be in? tell her to spend as much free time as possible on the south island, its a lot nicer than the north :)

  3. Aw! Bittersweet for sure. They all sound like such amazing lovely girls. :-) I have some family members who are in love with NZ myself, in fact, if you check out my next post (thursday or friday) you'll see how very much they love it. :-) There's a teaser for ya. :-) Also, just have to say... I wish SO badly that I had done stuff like that when I was her age.

  4. We mothers know how to lay on a guilt trip, but isn't it thrilling to see them launched! They'll come back and appreciate you when they become parents.

  5. Oh, it's tough, especially when they are so far away, but you're right, Facebook does help. I see my family and friends living their lives and it makes me happy to be part of it, even if I'm not there.

    They sure are beautiful girls, Robynn! You are so lucky to have them in your life in any way at all!

  6. Be very afraid....My friends son dated an exchange student from New Zealand when he was in college. He went to visit her after graduating, ended up staying, getting married, and having two kids! She lives here in Maine and has to travel all the way to New Zealand to visit!
    Your daughter is beautiful, btw.

  7. What a beautiful send off for a special young girl. Its both sad and exciting all wrapped into one. I have no doubt you'll follow her journey closely and cheer her from the sidelines...

  8. You are brave....very, very brave!!!

    But on the other hand, my brother lived there for a year and loved it!


  9. It's hard to watch those little fledglings fly the nest, but it's in the nature of things I guess. I wish it wasn't, but what can ya do?
    But did you know that she's going to come home talking funny? She'll be saying words like 'sex' for six, and 'sex' for sick - because they do talk funny there. Even Caroline (commenter above) does - she's got a mixture of American/Kiwi/and Italian accents... which is SO funny to listen to... and now she wants to try Belgium next!

    Kels, have a wonderful time and enjoy yourself! You're only young once you know! ;)

  10. I've been contemplating the fact that so many of mine are gone. And, yet, while we'd like to keep them close, then we'd have, in a few years time, either a pathetic spinster, or a loser geek dude living in Mama's basement. Then we'd really wonder what went wrong. So we have to suffer the loss when they're too young. *sob* Can you tell I suffer this anxiety a lot?

  11. Came your way via DJan, and so glad I did !
    It's tough to give your children their wings, but part of the growing up process I believe.
    My worst fear being a British transpalnt myself, is my granddaughter going over to England, falling in love, and I never see her again, other than on Facebook !
    Hope to visit with you often ...

  12. Thank you for such a sweet sending off for Kels! She's absolutely and without reservation excited!! Unbelievable that all of our Triple G Girls are grown-up, bonafide adults!!! How on earth did that happen? I knew I shouldn't have turned my back that day; or was it the other time I turned my back? Isn't it a blessing how beautiful they all are, form the inside right on out! We are truly rich and blessed indeed!

  13. Robynn, This is beautiful and brought a tear to my eye (but only after your wonderful wit made me smile). The girls pictured in your post appear to be genuinely happy. A part of me envies them, and yet, I'd not want to be younger than I am today. Go figure.

  14. I LOVE this witty post. What I love best about it is you meant every word! And I heartily agree with every word.
    Young mothers listen up now and pay attention to these pearls of wisdom!

  15. It's with mixed parts of joy and sadness that we let our loved ones go. How dare they want to have their own lives away from us?! ;-)

    Oh, and thanks for making me feel better about my old lady arms!

  16. I'm back just to say that I LOL'd at the comment you left on my post. Congrats on the stair maneuver! Awesome navigation details. And don't worry about your initially unsuccessful spelling of "successfully." The message remains in tact. But I'm like you. Boy, when I see those typos I inadvertently made, I just want to hide my head in the sdan... I mean, the snad, I mean... Oh, hell -- you know what I mean!

  17. Oh that's just really sweet, Robynn! Kelsey IS a dear! I haven't been on here reading much since my own dear Jenny has been visiting after having the audacity to fly the coop and set up her own home with husband and babies. What IS this world coming to? :-)

  18. blast those darned kids who have to grow up and leave their Mamas....but how exciting for them just starting on their way! I wish I'd had the nerve to travel when I was her age - my son and his cousins have all moved away and are having a ball, but, of course, still love to come back home to the nest to touch base and have home cooking! I think we have to be proud that we've done a great job or bringing up such great, independent kids!