Gone.

We made it to the campus. Only cried once so far.

We made it to the campus, and found somewhere to park!  Only cried once so far.

Got a golf-cart ride to the dorm… and I sat with my sister for an hour, waiting for Rachel and her dad to get the ok to unload the car. Cried a few times, once heavily.

Oh...she's embarrassed!!! YES.

Oh…she’s embarrassed!!! YES.

It was a strange feeling for me. Watching these kids, and the amounts of energy they put forth. You could FEEL the opportunity, the fun, the excitement…. I got caught up in the rush myself, wishing I’d had the chance to experience this when I was her age. So grateful that she is here, part of this…. and yet I’m still terrified to leave her here.

The door. Just about to be opened for the first time.

The door. Just about to be opened for the first time.

First steps into the room.

First steps into the room.

My sunglasses were kept on as we navigated the stairs and halls, and I managed to smile during my silent sobbing.

Still able to smile. This is a good thing.

Still able to smile. This is a good thing.

We unpacked, kind of. Bunked the beds, it took all 4 of us. Later found out maintenance could have done it for us…. something to remember for next time. Decided to get some lunch while her roommate was on her way to the room with her own family. Saying goodbye was not yet imminent, so I was actually hungry…. enjoying the last hours with her.

After eating, a trip to the bookstore, and a trip to Target….all within walking distance of her dorm… we headed back.

Now is the hard(est) part.

Saying goodbye.

I’m crying right now, thinking about it. It still feels so weird that she’s THERE…. for so LONG…… Ugh.

Her pushing me out the door.

Her pushing me out the door.

No, she didn’t really push me out the door. She was gracious, telling me I could stay as long as I wanted. But I knew I needed to let her get to it. I knew I needed to go…. but it was hard. Actually harder than I expected. Because it was finally real. My eyes are still puffy. Sunglasses back on, but they kept fogging up as I needed just one more hug, and then just one more hug again…..

We texted as I walked to the car with my sister.

We talked on the phone that first evening-last night. and texted goodnights.

I had a horrible sleep.

She texted this morning that she was still alive. And later, as late as I could possibly stand to wait… I got to see her face again.

Aaaaahhhhh, facetime. How I love it.

One day at a time………

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Going…..going…….

packing up

packing up 18 years

We drive tomorrow, to drop her off.

This pile has been slowly growing in the corner of her room, and today it took over. A day of sorting through every item saved up to this moment, and deciding if it stays, or goes.

The last day home as a fully dependent child.

And who do I find in the closet, as we sort through the past 18 years together.

He doesn't look depressed enough for me......

He doesn’t look depressed enough for me……

Eeyore.

He’s been around since she was a newborn, her first stuffed animal. I remember buying him.

And now he’s all I’ll have to hold on to for a while.

😦

9 LAST days and counting

us

Oooohhhh…… she’s leaving me. In 9 days, she will be gone.

I’ve reached the point of “lasts”…. Yesterday was “probably” our last walk up to Mitchell’s for ice cream. I tried to immortalize the moment.

gone

She wasn’t having it.

Every moment is a new last moment, before she goes. It’s hitting me pretty hard, I fear it gets worse. I’m doing all sorts of weird things to remember EVERY MOMENT before she leaves.

our shadows. After our LAST walk for ice cream.

our shadows. After our LAST walk for ice cream.

I took her and one of her good friends to lunch today, a goodbye lunch. our LAST lunch at Vieng’s Asian Bistro. I’m trying to remember everything. Every last precious minute.

Is this strange? Do I not realize that she will still be allowed to contact me, to come home when she wants? Of course I know this, but I also know it will never be the SAME. Her first visits home I think will be a relief, she will miss us. I’m 99% sure of this. But as she settles in, and she starts to get used to living away….. her trips home may feel stifling. Right? I think that’s how it works. She won’t feel like the same person, for her going back to school will be “home”, when she’s done with her visit here. She will be relieved to get back to her life.

She will transform, without my help or influence.

It’s a painful, exciting, scary, beautiful thing.