She's completing a two-week mentorship at my brother's company, about thirty minutes away, and bunking at a friend's house. This appears to be a sort of pre-college test run, allowing her to deal with homesickness in small doses. The strategy is a good one, and she is enjoying herself. Come August, we'll do the race through Target for dorm gear then pack her off for life's next big adventure.
Three down and one to go. My youngest, a junior, is a little blue about the increasing silence in a house once filled with chaos. Of course, she now has run of the place and never has to share ... anything. A nice break for a youngest child.
The blur of hands-on parenting is coming to an end. I'm no longer the sun, with my children revolving around me like pretty planets. These days, I'm not even sure I rank with Pluto. Young adulthood offers so much excitement, the new love, new friends, the scary Math professor and the all-nighters in the college dorm. What parent could possibly compete? I'm not even sure I rate with some aimlessly spinning boulder in the asteroid belt.
On the up side, my time is now my own. All of those books I imagined writing are now being set down on paper and loaded onto Amazon. Without the responsibility of little ones, it's easier to keep a schedule. I no longer sit cross-eyed with exhaustion in the pediatrician's office, or at ballet recital or at the kitchen table explaining phonics to a third grader. After the slog of single parenthood, I'm now engaged to a man who's witty, wise and very silly. Yes, I miss the endearing conversations with my children, like the time my son informed me in a dreamy voice that angels and mothers never fart. Or reading books to kids pink-cheeked from a long bath and their eyes brimming with delight. But I don't miss being the center of their universe.
They have long lives to lead; I'm merely passing through. In the grand scheme I stand here but for a moment, heart filled with hope that they'll enjoy every minute of their long, lovely lives.