For weeks leading up to Sunday, if I even thought about saying good-bye to my daughter, I'd begin to tear up. I'd also cry thinking about how quiet the house was going to be without her presence, or how awkward it would be to set the table for three instead of four, even seeing her bedroom floor (something I haven't seen in years) made me cry, knowing that all her clothes are now scattered somewhere else. Most of all, I'll miss her day to day kindnesses: her willingness to contribute and help out (most of the time with smile), her sunny disposition which was infectious, her generous babysitting and chauffeur experience, and the "love you"s as she rushed out door.
As the end of the afternoon approached, the new bed was made, the clothes were hanging in their new closet (for the time being), mini fridge was plugged in, lunch was had, the knot in my stomach moved to my throat. I could feel the tears beginning to well up. Suddenly, we all realized that she was late for a mandatory meeting of her new dormitory, and we still had to make a suitcase/computer exchange. She ran upstairs to her room while we ran down into the parking garage, we met back on the main floor with barely time for hug. Then she was gone. There were no tears, no hysterical sobbing, no embarrassing displays of emotion at all - there simply wasn't time. Sometimes timing is everything, if not kind.
Mother and daughter.