My girl is coming home today! Her spring break and my spring break don’t align, but I don’t care. She’ll be home.
I must say her first year at college has flown by and we’ve adjusted well. I think it helps that she is healthy and happy and successful with her studies. A year ago I could not have imagined what life would be like without Bailey here each day. I refused to let myself think about it much because I didn’t want it to get in the way of enjoying those senior year moments.
The most difficult time wasn’t even driving her to school, lugging everything she owned up three flights of un-airconditioned stairs, or even kissing her goodbye and driving away. To be sure those were emotional and they challenged me to be strong, but she looked genuinely happy and that is all I could’ve asked for.
The moment of truth for me, however, came hours later. My husband and I drove the long “labor-day-weekend-of-traffic-into-Maine” ride reminiscing. We were feeling content with the life we had built together and so proud of our amazing kids. When we got home, I walked upstairs to put my things away and stopped outside my daughter’s room. I opened the door and looked at the empty. And that was how my heart felt, too. I sobbed. Not the sniffly, trickling tear… but the ugly cry. The one where your face gets so wet, your sleeves can’t soak it up fast enough and your shoulders shrug uncontrollably.
It didn’t last long. Within a few moments I was exhausted and spent, but I knew I’d be ok, because she was ok. Later, I sent her a text to say goodnight. I’d read all the advice about letting them contact you first, but that was just stupid! I’d always said goodnight and I wasn’t going to stop then. We exchanged texts during the next few days as I tried to piece together her new life in my mind.
The days turned into weeks, which turned into months, and here we are. Each time she comes home, my heart soars. I love hearing about her studies, her dance team, her friends. Our time together is more precious than ever. So today I’ll walk with a lighter step, I’ll talk with a smile on my face, and an ache in my arms that are ready to wrap around her.
Here’s to a wonderful break.