Today I realized that I only have three full days left with my girlie before she heads back to campus. Personally, I much prefer the countdown to her arrival over the countdown to her departure.
Still, we're trying to make the most of it around the inevitable last-minute chores like laundry and packing. We had brunch with a friend this morning, then went to size a ring with shield very like her future SCA coat of arms. We attempted to tweak an incorrect eye prescription so I could order her more contacts, though sadly we just missed the staff, who left at noon. Sounds exciting, right? But we were together, and that's all that mattered.
On the way home we stopped at the store to purchase supplies for making tacos tonight and pizza tomorrow, then we settled in to watch more of the shows we'd saved on the DVR for her. We finished up House and Bones, then started all the Doctor Who videos she'd been saving for last.
Now there are only two days left, really. Times like these are difficult for me (for any mom, really), because I am put in the awkward position of being simultaneously happy and excited for her and all the promise of her new semester, particularly since I know how much she loves it all, while still being sad for me that she's leaving and maybe even the tiniest bit jealous that she is in the midst of one of the most exciting times of her life while I seem to spend the majority of my days typing and staring out my window (I gotta work on that).
But this is as it should be. It is the natural order of things. I'll miss her, but I'll see her again for Spring Break. And again in May. She will still come back to me.
I've decided that college is not just a gentle way (or "safety net," if you will) of helping young people segue between adolescence and adulthood, but rather also a gentle way to help ease parents into that inevitable moment when their grown children leave again--but don't come back.
No matter how gently one has been eased into it, that day will still suck donkey toes.