I just received a hug from my daughter Celine for no reason.
Tears have boiled up in my wife’s eyes the last two days while a neighbor broke down in tears this morning. The end is near and it is hitting everyone at the same time.
We will be on a morning Delta flight Thursday to San Francisco on Celine’s 18th birthday to take her to school and the emotion of seeing my oldest child has yet to hit. I’ve always predicted that I will remain calm until we drop off that last item in her Stanford University dorm door and turn around to walk out that door.
That is when I may break down like a baby. I do not know what its like to say good bye to a child. And when I did I expected them to attend Michigan, Michigan State or Central Michigan where they are a few hour drive away.
I never expected her to be so far away. That’s going to be tough.
We’ve heard from some New York friends who said their boys are having a tough time adjusting away from home at the University of Michigan. How will my child stack up a five hour plane ride away? I have no idea.
I just know it will be strange not hearing singing and late night conversations from the back corner room.
“Are you going to close the door while I’m gone,” Celine asked.
No. I want to keep it open and just go and sit for a while and remember some of the crazy times this child put me through. I will go through her soccer gear and remembered some of the big moments and big goals and fun times on the road.
I will read some of her school papers and fumble through some of her awards.
“It won’t be too bad,” Celine said. “We have face time. We can visit every night.”
Maybe at first. But she will meet new friends and experience new adventures in the Bay area and those nightly visits will turn into twice a week visits and maybe just a few times a month. She will slowly slip away into a new life.
It will just be me, the wife and Brandon.
Will we smother the only remaining child or treat him as usual? He said he is sad to see Celine go but is happy for her because she gets to go to her dream school.
Celine said she will cry when we drop her off but she does not want to see me break down. So I will hold it together for as long as I can. It will be tough because I am getting weepy writing this.