Here is my slice for today… Thanks to Two Writing Teachers who give us a place to share every Tuesday.
“Mom, what time can you drive me back up?”
Never, I wanted to say. Stay home with me and Dad. Never leave. Can’t we pop in a Harry Potter and cuddle on the couch?
Crazy mom, crazy idea.
“I am going for a walk and then I can take you. Is 8:30 okay?”
It was, and so we took off, once again making the trek to her new digs at college, a mere 45 minutes away on a good traffic day, two hours on a bad one. We stopped at Target on the way up for some cough drops and shampoo. And a cute sweater and oh, what about that denim top? I could wear that with leggings, jeans, lots of things. Sure honey.
On the way up we listened to a podcast of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me with Daniel Radcliff. We sipped our peppermint mochas. It was a beautiful sunny day and the freeway was wide open. Daniel wasn’t quite finished talking when we got there, so we sat in the car and listened for a few more minutes. Heaven. Then she grabbed her laundry, her bag, and got out of the car. I jumped out and hugged her. She was off. I still can’t watch her walk away and into that building.
This has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I do not actually know how to do it. What is the balance between letting go and giving her support? How do I reconcile my a-piece-of-my-heart-got-ripped-out-grief with her joy over gaining wings? How do I help her adjust to this new communal life, what can I do to help her find her people, how can I make sure she is happy?
Yeah, I can’t. I can’t do any of those things. She is going to make her way and I am going to heal. We will take it as it comes, because that is all we can do. I always thought that getting her into college was the goal, and then we would sort of coast. I get it now. Parenting never ends. It just morphs.
Shortly after I dropped her off, waiting at a stoplight, I noticed the text.
Forgot my shampoo and stuff in the backseat!
Be right there.