The girl is entering her final year of high school. She's boarded out of state since she was 14. Each year, it has been paradoxically harder to send her off. I think it's because each year, I realize that she is becoming an adult, an adult who is in charge of her own life, a life that will include me a little less as it goes on.
It is fucking painful.
What makes it worse this year is that this summer we've been touring colleges. We first looked at the school the husband and I attended for undergrad - only a 30-40 minute drive away. She'd still live on campus, but we could, theoretically, meet for lunch or dinner. More likely, she could drop off her laundry and we'd make a Costco run for delicious snacks.
I seriously doubt she'll go to school there.
We've also looked at a number of schools out East. We spent several days in New England, and have at least one more trip planned for the Fall. The trip was wonderful, and the bed and breakfast we stayed at was fantastic. [Seriously, hit me up if you need a recommendation for a Bennington, VT, B&B. I have become a B&B-er. I'm not sure how I feel about that.] The trip was hectic - we visited so many schools in a short amount of time - but it was also a fun way for us to spend time together as a family, and for all of us to get an idea of where the girl is headed.
I look at these schools, and I can picture her in any of them. I see her excitement during the tours and info sessions, and her exhilaration after each interview. I'm a little jealous - seriously, these schools offer a TON of cool things - but mostly, I'm happy she's interested in going to college and getting the right experience for her.
And then they talk about internships and summers abroad and programs during breaks and I realize that she'll not only be gone during the school year, but she'll be gone during those times when I jealously guard every moment we spent together.
It is beyond painful.
Where is my little girl who would lay on my as I read her the Harry Potter books? Where is the kid who would talk to me so much - SO MUCH - that I said more than once, "I need you to stop talking now" [it never worked]? Where is my baby?
She's grown up and she's heading off to make her own place in the world, and while on the one hand I'm so proud, on the other, I am seriously, seriously considering Homeschool College as a thing.
She isn't going for it. But she hasn't had the tour yet, so I'm still holding out hope.