"It is well known that "problem avoidance" is an important part of problem solving. Instead of solving the problem you go upstream and alter the system so that the problem does not occur in the first place.” – Edward du Buono
The days are counting down to my daughters birthday and graduation and I still haven’t mailed a thing to her.
Oh, I could cite my busy days with the house sale and resulting move. You might even believe me.
But you shouldn’t.
I realized today I am being totally avoidant. I am bordering on paralysis. I just cannot get myself to get the package together and mail it. In years past I shop early, pack early and put a great deal of time in every little bow and piece of wrapping paper. My gifts were thoughtful and sent with intent and meaning.
I cannot do it this time. Each time I go to do it I find myself frozen, paralyzed, distracted, unable to just get it done.
I bought a gift that I was going to have her brothers decorate (they did). I have not done anything with it. It now rests in one of my kitchen cabinets.
I bought a card this weekend. I usually spend a great deal of time finding the right card. Not too mushy, not too forward but with enough emotion. I just grabbed one off the rack this weekend. It too rests in a kitchen cabinet.
A few weeks ago I bought a gift card to a bookstore. Who gives a book store gift card for graduation? Dunno. Me I guess. It is in my wallet.
I have another idea planned that requires some writing and some creative wrapping. I cannot get myself to do it.
It is all so inherently blatantly wrong.
Who knows that their child is graduating college but doesn’t go or is not invited?
Who knows that their child is graduating college but has no idea where that child will go upon graduation?
Who sends a stupid card or a book store gift card for a graduation gift?
The situation is causing one big huge owie in my heart.
For me, to send the gift seems to somehow condone the situation. It seems like it would be saying "Its okay that you are graduating, haven’t shared a single thought about it with me, wont tell me what you are doing after graduation. In fact, its wonderful. Here, have a cheesy card and stupid gift to celebrate it"
The other side of the coin is that for me, this is likely the last gift I can ever send my daughter. Unless she writes me and tells me where she is going, where I can continue to communicate with her, I will never be able to send her something again. She hasn’t written me in almost a year so I have very little hope she will write me now.
And still another painful piece of the puzzle. When she was at college, I knew where she was. Even if I could not see her, I knew where she was. I knew, in a pinch, an emergency, if I really had to, I could drive an hour west and there she would be. After 19 years of agonizing over where in the world my child was, dead or alive, I finally knew where she was. I could breathe easier.
I wont know anymore.
She will be gone again. Disappeared into the stratosphere.
I just cannot get myself to send a gift that pretends this is all okay. I cannot find it in myself to put on a happy smiley face and say I am cool with things.
I am not.
I need to reframe this somehow.
I need to find a way to make it okay.
I need to find a way to make it hurt less.