I’ve spent over twenty years loving her, raising her, and worrying about her. This morning she left – for good. My daughter is a grown-up and just pulled out of the driveway toward her future. I want to call her back or text her: “Remember not to leave wet towels on the floor!” (But she is tidier than all of us.) Maybe I could call and say, “When you merge on the interstate, be sure to yield (But she went to grad school in Albany.) So instead, I will do this: let her go gracefully.
Last night and this morning as she was packing her belongings and loading the car, I really didn’t think, “This is it.” It felt like the other times when she would go off to college in the fall and pop back in on vacations, with a loaded-down car and boxes of books.
But today, when she smiled, surveyed her *former* room, and said, “Well, that’s it. I think I’m all set,” it hit me. I was saying goodbye to her permanently. Oh, she and her fiancé will come to visit. After they are married, they’ll split holidays between in-laws. We’ll go to visit them and their babies. But this is the end of her childhood. She has a dream job after getting her Master’s, she has her apartment while they house hunt, and she has a young man who loves and cherishes her.
So I guess she was right. She IS all set!
My husband and I have done our best. We’ve shown her how to enjoy life, talked about pitfalls to avoid, and helped her learn the value of hard work. I’m sure there are things I missed. But she knows about towels and driving. We’ve taught her to cook, clean, and save. She knows the importance of good, dear friends. She made the biggest decision of her life really well: her partner, Kevin.
Goodbye, big girl! I’ll miss you! Come back soon!
Love ya lots,