How My Summer Ended

My Daughter Leaving For College Leaves Me Sad

Yesterday, I dropped one of my twin daughters off at the train station so she could catch a train into the city, where her connecting bus would then take her on to Boston. For the previous several days, I had been feeling a bit shaky, and I had tried to shoo away that trembling, teary feeling that was creeping up on me, knowing she was leaving. After all, Liz is entering her junior year--I should be used to this by now. Well, guess what--I'm not.

As we sat at the traffic light, she in the passenger seat next to me, I stole furtive glances at her, trying to savour the last moments of her beautiful face. If she saw me staring too much, she would give me the teenage backlash, as would be her right. So I drove on quietly, successfully suppressing my tears as I crossed Sunrise Highway and turned into the train station. As I quickly parked the car, my mind flashed back to her coming home three months earlier. She bounded down the train station stairs with youthful exuberance and threw her arms around me. So where did three months go, and did we maximize that precious time? Oh God, I thought, I do so hate it when my mind races!!

As Liz retrieved her suitcase and backpack from the trunk, her demeanor was reserved, subdued. As she hugged me and said, "I love you Mom," it took every ounce of personal strength I could muster to just not cry. I simply responded, "I love you too, Liz. Now hurry up or you'll miss your train. And call me when you get to Boston."

I intently watched my daughter as she ascended the escalator to the train platform. I did not see the baby I carried, the child who was a joy from day one, the teenager who always made us so very proud. I saw a poised young woman on her way into her own promising future.

I pulled away from the curb and cried again.

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