When Cassie was a few days old I sat, holding her in the rocking chair, and cried. I cried my eyes out. As I cradled my wonderful firstborn, the child who'd just given me the gift of making me a Mommy, I cried because I knew she'd soon be cared for in a daycare, and I didn't want to miss a moment of her life.
My mother came in, asked what was wrong, and told me to get over it.
I'm not sure if I remember that moment so well because it was my first realization that I'd have to let my daughter go a little, or because my mother was so, um, unsympathetic (no ill will towards Mom, she was right and I did get over it).
Yesterday that memory crept into my mind as I said goodbye to my oldest as she went off to college. Yes, she's only about 20 minutes from home. Yes, we'll see her often. Yes, she's been told she's expected home for dinner at least one night a week. Yes, text messages and phone calls flow freely.
But I had to let my daughter go a little more. And man, that just isn't easy.
It's a good and important letting go. I know that. I get that. I am happy for that, for her. I am happy, and proud, to watch her forge her path. She's growing up, and there will be more letting go's over the years ... when she takes her first job, moves far away, gets married, has children of her own ... and I think there will always be a bit of bittersweet as I watch her expand her wings and fly.
After she was out of eyesight I had a good little cry. And I talked to my mother, who didn't tell me to get over it, but celebrated with me the exciting journey Cassie is now embarking on.