In 20 days, I will put my daughter on a plane to Stanford, CA. Then 10 days later, she will board a plane with 30 or so new friends to Dakar, Senegal. After 18 years of consuming my life, she will simply board a plane and be off to a whole new world. 18 years. 18 years of day to day worry, concern, laughter, joy, chatter. I want to use the word GONE! But I keep being reminded, that it is not gone, it is just changed. Different. As a mom, I know that things will change, it will never be the same again. I have already experienced this with my son. I know when she finally gets home next May, things will be different. She will have spent 9 months on her own having experiences without me. Oh, she will share, she will miss me, she will still love me...but it will be different.
I want the change for her. Of course I do not want to raise my children to be dependent on me for the rest of their lives. I have purposefully raised them to be independent and good citizens of this world. Now it is time to send them off to do so.
I am beginning to feel the loss. Last week she was at my mom and dad's in Texas. I missed her terribly. She texted me every day. But in the upcoming 9 months, she will not be able to do so. I will have to rely on her blog, facebook, emails, and maybe skype. But all of this will be intermittent as she may have no electricity or access to internet cafes.
For now, though I have 20 days. I will make the most of these days. I will listen, laugh and spend as much time as she will allow me. Then I will cherish these days as I get through the first few weeks of her departure.
Parenting is a series of losses but the gains are so worth it.