Be right there

sliceoflife

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.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Be right there

  1. Loved it! So true to life!

  2. I bet you’d never been so thankful that she forgot something!

    My daughter is almost 4 so this is a long way off for me. That said, I know I’m going to long for these days of snuggling and playing together when she grows up and goes away to college. I feel for ya!

    • These are the reasons why our kids find us randomly staring at them and crying. Or is that just me? My oldest is only about 3 years away from college and I can’t seem to stretch the time long enough. But yay for holiday breaks. Maybe you can get in some Harry Potter snuggle time then!

  3. 45 minutes is close by! Actually, it’s just the right distance – as your slice indicates!

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