My baby is leaving. It’s college time, and my older daughter is poised for launch. She needs to move on – anything less would drive both her and us crazy – yet I will miss the sense of wild energy that has permeated this house for the last eighteen years. Those of us left behind will all feel her absence, human and animal alike.
This is not a change I want to fight – this is a change I am working hard to embrace. Yes, life will go on. I will go on writing my books and going to the gym and riding horses with her younger sister. This younger daughter will do things of her own accord, and not because she is eager to follow an older sister she loves so, so much. My husband will sigh and grump around and make an effort to lose himself in activities of his own. Mushroom hunting, cooking, building retaining walls. Helping me figure out my characters and their backstories.
While we adjust and adapt, while we do our things both together and apart, our fledgling will be out there, spreading her wings and soaring the thermals that is college. Making new friends, learning new skills, figuring out a public transportation system. Waking up on time without parental nagging. Making great art.
Then a break will come, we will meet again, and she will be different. Other. Changed, yet the same underneath it all. I expect her strong personality to blossom into confidence with the seemingly endless energy of youth, nurtured by the bottomless well that is her imagination. And there will be fights over trivial things. Boundaries will be drawn, preferences will be stated in no uncertain terms, truce will be declared over differences of opinion. It will all be worth it, though. Someday, I will drive a car my awesome daughter will design for me.
Just, please… no tattoos. Seriously.