I took her to the airport this morning, getting up at 5:00 for a 6:45 flight. Her bag was 3 pounds over, and I helped her rearrange things. We hugged, and I watched her go through the security check (four trays of stuff - coat, purse, carry on, shoes ...) and then run down the causeway, because everything had taken so long and she had only 12 minutes to get to the plane.
She'll never truly be home again. Though I might see her in August, she might be able to bring J to Buffalo and help him get a job here, 'home' has changed in meaning. She wasn't really 'home' this week, her mind on packing for the return to California, packing up the things she was leaving behind, how to get a job in CA, and mostly on being back with J.
I remember standing right there reaffirming my vow to not eat any sugar during pregnancy. I remember early school mornings of brushing and braiding her long, recalcitrant hair, and hour after hour combing through used clothing stores for just the right dress. And her sudden refusal, in first grade, to wear dresses anymore. And oh! the angst of teen-age years trying to control her changing body and feelings.
And now there she is; an adult who has her life under control. Who knows what she wants and specifically what she doesn't. I'm so proud of her. But I miss my sunny little girl who knew just how to make me smile, just exactly how to lighten the mood in an often depressing household; the teen with whom I spent hours philosophizing about life, nutrition, love, organization, religion, and all of the things I think and wonder about.
All past in the blink of an eye.
Parents, treasure every moment with that precious child. Don't let a day go by without really *looking* at him, appreciating the wonder. Mark in your memory all the smiles, all the idiosyncrasies of that amazing little being that looks up to you. The joys and problems of each year are distinct and valuable, to both of you. Eventually, all you will have left will be those times that you have taken to realize how magical is the moment that you share.