I was up for hours, knowing she was heading back this morning. She came down the stairs and made a quick breakfast. The dogs huddled around her feet as she tried to shuffle through the kitchen.
“Need any help?”
“Nah. I got it.”
She knelt down and rub her hand across Murphy’s back. He knows something’s up. He’s been loving that lap of hers all week long. She’s not sitting down. There’s no lap to leap on. She’s buzzing around without lighting.
She heads back upstairs. I wait a few minutes before following. Her bags are packed and stacked neatly in her room. Her Baboo sits atop the pile. He’s been her stuffed companion since infancy. “No bear buddy left behind”.
“Want me to carry some down?”
We lug a week’s worth of clothes, textbooks, and “stuff” down to the door and plop it in a pile. The dogs rush over to sniff and check it out. She sits on the floor and they rush to her. Murphy snuggles in tight. Tubbie jumps about, snorting and wiggling. Oreo meows and joins the group hug. She soaks it up…getting her fix of furry love for the next six weeks.
“Ok. You ready, dad?” She hoists her back back and adjusts a bag on her shoulder. She hugs her Baboo close. I snap a last minute selfie and plant a kiss on her cheek.
“I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
She and her dad walk to the van, loaded down. I stand in the doorway, loaded down. This is what all my parenting has been about. “You’ve done a good job,” I tell myself. Success doesn’t always feel so good…at least not in moments like this.