Full to Empty


I move quickly, he watches me.

Coffee in hand, he sips, starts to broach me, changes his mind.

I start all on my own, which he knew I would do. Ten years of together does this to a couple.

It’s too much. Too busy. She’s only in third grade.

“But still,” he interrupts,  “It’s third grade.

I still my hands, lean against the counter, look into his chocolate eyes. They’re soft. “She’ll be fine,” he says, trying to soften my eyes as well.


Draining my mug, I note the time, head upstairs to wake my girl.  For the first time ever I have a child who sleeps in in the mornings, comes downstairs slowly, half asleep.

Also for the first time, she’s trying new activities, ones she’s picked on her own.

Years of carefully planning and organizing and plugging activities into her days is what feels familiar.

Thoughtful chocolate eyes that match Jason’s looking my way as she holds bright slips of interest my way, do not.

I pad halfway up the stairs, MindWhispering my reminders about papers and backpacks and snacks and ponytails.

She’s already there. Papers in folder, backpack loaded, ponytail in place.

“I’m ready,” she says, smile wide.



I wait at the bottom of the hill, wondering how her day was, expecting the tired and the grumpy that tend to accompany busy kids.

She steps down in purple, hard to miss. Her ponytail loosened, auburn whisps frame her face.

About to cross the street, she looks up, catches my eye, and waves.

Her eyes are lit, her cheeks are raised.

“Hi babe,” I start once she’s crossed the street, one purple booted foot in front of the other, making footsteps toward me, a path between school and home.

“Hi,” she breathes and doesn’t stop until well past the road and the driveway and snack and backpack unloading and Chloe and Brody heading outside and me checking the fridge for dinner clues.

Her day was full, and this kind of emptying was my (new) role in it.


20 comments responses to "Full to Empty"

  • I’m noticing this with my oldest, too, Galit… that he has ideas about what he wants to do. It’s exciting and hard to release that control a bit. Loved this piece.

    posted by: Nina Badzin on March 10, 2013

  • I want so much for my kids to choose a passion, but they are mainly interested in TV and Nintendo right now. So it’s up to me to organize the dance and music and soccer and all that. I do hope one day they will be bit by something that will make them want to go after it.

    posted by: aladyinfrance on March 4, 2013

  • This is all wonderful and yes, letting go of control is hard. But I love the passage about “MindWhispering” because I know all of us Moms (and even non moms) do that. But I’m sure we have some of the same “mind whispers”, you and I. ;)

    posted by: Elaine A. on February 28, 2013

  • Great post! So true! My daughter is only 3 but I had a hard time w preschool. I even have moments when she is at gymnastics or swim and I’m watching behind the glass window. I almost feel like I need to be by her side helping her and showing her the wy.

    posted by: Mamaintheburbs on February 27, 2013

  • This whole letting go while they grow on and into their own is the hardest part of motherhood. Some days it’s okay, but those other days? It brings me to my knees.

    posted by: Kimberly on February 27, 2013

  • Lovely. I am not even close to being here yet, since my one kid is only 17 months and will hardly let me shower, but I know one day I’ll be right in your shoes. Thanks for the beautiful flash forward! xox

    posted by: Mommyproof on February 27, 2013

  • The letting them spread their wings is so, so hard.

    posted by: Jennifer on February 27, 2013

  • I *so* relate to your words. The letting go is hard for me. Letting go of the worry, letting go of their hand and letting them come into their own. Beautiful!

    posted by: Co-Pilot Mom on February 27, 2013

  • When I came into the computer room the other night at 11:00 PM and saw my 16 year old daughter still sitting there doing homework and told her “You need to go to bed,” I wondered how she is going to get by in a couple of years without her Mom there to remind her to get enough sleep. But she will. She will get by. Is it ever going to get easier, Galit – this loosening, this letting go?

    posted by: Shannon on February 27, 2013

  • While I thought this would be the hard part for me, I enjoy it so much. It’s like meeting a new version of them, which is exciting and also more to love. :)


    posted by: Stephanie Precourt on February 27, 2013

  • [...] have a post up at Moonfrye this week that I’m ridiculously proud [...]

    posted by: Loosening the Hold : These Little Waves on February 27, 2013

  • Letting go, bit by bit. Accepting new relationships, bit by bit. These are the parts of motherhood that are the hardest for me. Beautifully captured.

    posted by: anymommy on February 26, 2013

  • I love this. It really makes me treasure the moments…

    posted by: Soleil on February 26, 2013

  • Why I love your writing is because it offers me a soft, manageable, buffered glimpse into my future. While you are truthful about the pains that accompany that certain future, your writing soothes me and tells me I too will be OK. Thus, you may bill me for the therapy your reading provides. :) xoxo

    posted by: operationhaveitall on February 26, 2013

  • Oh Galit..yes, this.

    posted by: Tracy Morrison (@sellabitmum) on February 26, 2013

  • One of the hardest things about motherhood – watching them grow into their own, and accepting that we too, need to grow into ours. xoxo

    posted by: Alison on February 26, 2013

  • We’re so in the same boat, Galit. I didn’t know you had a 3rd grader too! Oh, it is so hard. It is comforting to know we are going through this together. Will respond more on FB ;-)


    posted by: Only You on February 26, 2013

  • As always, Galit, you make the simple moments of the day look so magnificently shiny. Just beautiful.

    posted by: Bethany on February 26, 2013

  • That’s such a hard emotion – wondering. Wondering if she’ll be ok. Wondering if you did enough. Good job letting go, Mama – it’s the hardest part.

    posted by: Katie Godbout Hurley on February 26, 2013

  • Beautiful, as always. I’m so proud of her for embracing her new busy, and of you for embracing your new letting go. I am struggling with such a decision now with my little guy. And I think that it might only be me who’s not ready. xoxo

    posted by: Julia on February 26, 2013