Despite being excited for this all summer, when it came time to leave she was more sad than anything—and for parents, it's all just heartache. You spend 18 or so years preparing your child for this, but the reality is that after this, it's just never quite the same. We're going from seeing our daughter every (or almost every) day to months of absence, and it's as if there's a giant hole in our lives now. There will be visits around holidays, but she won't really live at home anymore, and one summer she'll get a job and not come back, slipping farther away.
Really, even with years of knowing this was coming, one of the first thoughts that arises is, "How did it all go by so fast?" It seems as if we were just bringing her home from the hospital the other day, and now she's gone.
They're keeping the freshmen very busy at UC San Diego with lots of welcoming activities to distract and entertain them, and get them acquainted with the campus. Our daughter is having a blast, and probably not missing us much right now.
But we're grieving. That's the only way I can really describe it-- there's such an enormous sense of loss, and of knowing that part of her life with us has ended. And in two years, we'll go through this all over again with her brother.
I just hope he gets accepted at UC Berkeley, which is much closer than San Diego. The drive back was nine very long hours, and that was with bypassing rush hour at both ends. Alternating bouts of teariness with combating leg cramps and smacking myself in the face to stay awake is not the kind of experience I'm in a hurry to repeat. Let's hope we can find cheap airplane tickets for visits in both directions—at least San Diego is a reasonably major airport.
It's not all doom and gloom around here, and I'm feeling better than I was last week. But I know this will take awhile.
Those of you who sent me supporting messages last week, thank you. They really helped. ♥