Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 17,518 Gratitude: Is What It Is

The last couple of days were spent at my daughter's university for Parents' Weekend ... or as I like to call it, the harder goodbye. The weekend is well timed, one month after move-in. The day that we take her back to school never fails to be hotter than the surface of the sun. Carrying her every belonging upstairs to her fourth floor dorm room (second year in a row) always leaves us exhausted, sweaty and humorless. By the end of that day, after all of the preparation for it and anticipation of it, we are ready for it to be over. That goodbye is bittersweet, yes, but we are buoyed in the knowing that we will be together again soon.

The goodbye at the end of Parents' Weekend is the actual heartbreaker in comparison. All parties have had one full month to adapt to the changes and really steep in the heartfelt missing of each other that only time and distance can bring. Add to that a weekend of playful togetherness and fun and then try to say goodbye. It doesn't matter if you are the one leaving or the one staying behind. It's life, but damn it hurts.

I humbly confess that I assumed everything would be easier this school year, with our daughter being a sophomore and our family having separation experience under our belt. I was wrong. It isn't easier. It isn't harder. It just is what it is. We are figuring it out and learning how to proceed as we go. And, thankfully, we all have the good sense to really appreciate the opportunities that we have to be together during the school year. We three know that, in due time, we will blink, and she will fly from our nest completely and for good. This is really great news! This is what is supposed to happen. For all of this, I am so grateful.

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