Monday, April 17, 2017

Surprises, Songs and Separations

Photo: Alexa's Photos via Pixabay
My daughter paid us a surprise visit last weekend. For the past month, she's been telling us she'd be spending Easter in Boston with two of her roommates, but last Friday night, my husband and I walked into a restaurant with our friends -- our daughter's accomplices, as it turned out -- and there our girls sat, waiting.

The weekend was relaxing, and unremarkable in terms of activity. Dinner with friends. A trip to Target to replenish our cupboards with foods she likes. Easter dinner.

But she was home. We fell once again, all too easily, into our rhythm as a family of three, only to reach Monday morning.

Time to take her back.

In my head, Pink keeps singing "Please Don't Leave Me," and I wish she'd stop because she's not making this any easier. And it's raining and I really should get gas before we leave, but there's no time.

Never enough time.

The melodramatic thing to say would be that this never gets any easier, but that's not quite true, We've adjusted to her life as a young adult, and are immeasurably proud of all that she's doing, and, most of the time, we're all just fine.

But the goodbyes? Those begin as a heartache the night before she leaves and morph, after she's gone, into an emptiness much bigger than the space she actually takes up when she's here. The emptiness gradually subsides as we readjust, so that each adjustment period is just a little shorter than the one that came before.

In a few weeks, we'll be on the other side of that adjustment, making space at home for all of the trappings of freshman year, settling into a summer unlike any before. Her first month at home is largely booked, a harbinger of the comings and goings destined to punctuate the summer. Work and play, trips and group chats, family time and quiet time.

The ingredients of summer. I can hardly wait.

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