I put my daughter on a plane to California today. I've put her on planes before, Washington, DC, England, New York, Nova Scotia - and for longer periods of time. Last year she spent five weeks at a French immersion program at St. Anne's College, this year its ten days with my family and three weeks at Stanford. I know I'm bragging when I say my oldest is a bright kid, but it's true. She is.
But here's the thing, I was a lot more nervous about this trip than I've been about any of the others. I'm not sure why. I'm a bit better now that she's on her way, she called from Chicago to let me know she'd landed and knew where her next gate was. Soon she'll land and be in the hands of my very capable Aunt.
But there's still a voice in my head whispering that I'm losing her. And in a way maybe I am. She's growing up. In two years she'll be in college, that is if she doesn't elect to do her Senior year AT college. So she's on her way and I'm proud, but last night we held on to each other like there was no tomorrow.
I never considered myself a nostalgic mom. I'm great with letting go, being away and giving them space. But here it is in my face, this fear of losing her. Huh.
On another topic, I was walking on our road this morning. I live on a seldom traveled dirt road. In fact, I don't think I've heard more than maybe two cars go by today. Anyway, there's a hill so walking up I don't notice much but the dirt in front of my feet. Coming down I was struck again by the beauty of the place where I live. So very green, and in among the bushes sat pink flowers that no one planted. And between the breaks in the foliage gorgeous views of the distant hills. Or not so distant hills, they are just on the other side of the valley, but then there are the mountains beyond. I missed a lot this last year, working in a room with no windows. I'm glad to be home for the summer.