There it sat in the sink. A plate with remnants of macaroni and cheese. The cheese hardening as it does after sitting out an entire day. A sight that would normally cause frustration.
“Who didn’t put their plate in the dishwasher? Who left this here all day only to leave me to clean it up?”
Only this time it was different. I held the plate, stared at it and fought back tears. But they still came.
My mind flashed to earlier that morning. Tensions were high. Emotions were high. Excitement was high. We were almost ready to walk out the door and take my firstborn to college. One last “mothering” moment. I asked her if she had eaten anything.
It was barely 7 am so I knew the answer. She never liked to eat early, let alone this early. “Please just eat something. It’s going to be a long day and you need to be nourished.”
Without a word, she walked over to the fridge and took out the leftovers from her special going away meal the night before. Homemade mac and cheese. One of her very favorites. I bit my tongue because heaven knows mac and cheese at 7 am isn’t usual, but I was just thrilled she was eating something. And truth be told, it would nourish her for the day ahead.
She stood there eating from the plate, one last comfort of home before we left for the unknown.
And now, here I was left staring at the plate. Perspective changed. Normally I would fuss about the plate being left in the sink, but here I lingered. I held the plate and was so caught off guard that such a thing would set me off. But it did.
Tears started to well up. I was grateful for that plate.
It was a sobering reminder though of the last thing she did right before she left. Something that was so ordinary now became a profound moment. I know that the next time she eats a meal in the house things will be different. They just will. She will have new friends, new mentors, new experiences. She will have new knowledge and Lord willing, new wisdom. She will be different. Our family will be different. One has gone out to experience life outside of our safe little haven and our familiar life. And that’s a good thing. It is time.
I am grateful the last thing my daughter did before she left was to eat a nourishing meal, homemade by her mama. And I pray that her soul was nourished in some way too.
Life changes are hard. But good. But really hard. But really good.
Who would have thought a plate of macaroni and cheese would spark such feelings? You just never know.
I am grateful for this moment. We have arrived at a new chapter in life and it is exciting. I couldn’t be more overjoyed for the place she is in. And it’s all God’s leading. For now, I am taking time to adjust to our new normal. Whatever that means. But that’s what they say you need to do. Trusting the Lord with each moment and thanking Him for that plate of mac and cheese.