Gone Baby Gone
August 15, 2010 § 1 Comment
My youngest child just left for college.
We’ve known this day was coming for 19 years. You would think that would have made it easier.
The hardest part is the quiet that’s left behind.
There has been a flurry of activity over the last few weeks with all the preparations, ending with a crescendo of last-minute shopping and packing and list checking and tearful good-byes to friends and family.
The good-byes are tearful because this daughter, my baby, is not going to college just an hour or two away, like her older sister did. She is not even going to school across the country. She won’t be at our Thanksgiving table this year, and she won’t be home over winter break. She is going halfway around the world to study abroad, and she won’t be home with us again until April.
We had a lovely farewell dinner out at a Cambodian restaurant in Bernal Heights, Angkor Borei. They have a tofu pumpkin curry dish that was a real hit with both the vegans and the meat-eaters in our clan.
Our daughter’s two best friends came to stay the night last night and helped her pack. They all went on a last-minute dash to the 24-hour pharmacy at the Walgreens in the Castro at 2:00 a.m. for a forgotten prescription. Whoever thought of having a 24-hour pharmacy should be given the Nobel Peace prize for convenience. That genius establishment has saved our family’s health on several occasions. I wonder if they have one where she’s going to college? Why didn’t I think to check that before?
When my daughter was a little girl, she used to wake me up by coming in to my room and just standing by the side of my bed looking at me until I woke up. It used to scare the hell out of me–it is uber creepy to open your eyes from a dead sleep to see someone just standing there watching you. –shudder–
But this morning she didn’t do that. This morning, her last morning at home, she woke me up by crawling into bed to spoon with me. And of course the dog had to jump up on the bed and spoon with her. And then my husband joined in the spoonfest from the other side. We had a 4-way spoon sandwich. It was a lovely send-off.
But now she’s gone, and there’s just empty left behind.
The packing materials from the new computer.
The sombrero from our trip to Cancun last year. The pictures, and hearts, of her closest friends.
And her sister, who just graduated from college in June. And moved back home last week until she can find a job.
The nest was THIS CLOSE to being empty.
Just not quite yet.