My second child is going off to college this month. When my oldest left, four years ago, I couldn’t drop her off because I was starting a new job. This time around I am going but I can’t help her move in because I start to work three days earlier this year. Just the time I would need to help her settle in. I will have to fly back to Calgary from Boston with my son; my husband will stay behind until she is settled in. I’m hoping I don’t cry all the way home. My son is going to be sad, too. He doesn’t need a blubbering mom to worry about.
I thought this time around it would be easier to let my child go. I thought that having gone through this rite of passage once before would make things easier. But, I was wrong. Every time I think of some plan we have for the fall I immediately think of my second born and as quickly remember that she won’t be around. I get so sad that I have to work hard to pull myself back to the present. It’s not helping that the weather is so dreary; it hasn’t stopped raining in three days and we haven’t seen the sun for that long either.
I know my daughter will do well. She will be happy. She will be safe. She will go out into the world and do great things. I have no doubt about that but I’m selfish. i want her close to me; I want all my children close to me. And, then I remember Kahlil Gibran’s words and it gives me courage:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
Growing up is hard.