I stood in the lobby of the dorm with a "Student MOM" button in my hands. It didn't feel real. How was I the mom and not the student?
Seeing my daughter on the brink of adulthood, made me glance back at my own. Had my journey been what I envisioned when I went to college? No, certainly not. Life surprises us like that. Was I disappointed with the turns life had taken? Some dreams had died, others had been born. And no, I wasn't disappointed.
She settled things into her little room. She wanted to arrange it by herself. I found myself feeling useless, asking if she wanted me to put her books away or make her bed; she shook her head. She wanted her fingerprints on each task.
I stood there wishing for something to do, ANYTHING. I'm a mom, give me a project! I felt uneasy with all the boxes still boxed.
"Just sit down and relax, Mom," she invited.
And that's when I realized, she needed me to just be there. But how do you just be when, from the moment she was handed to you, you've been doing? All those needs, all that tucking in, wiping off and cleaning up; it becomes instinct. It's hard to transition to still hands. I selfishly wanted my hands busy so my heart didn't hurt so much. But she needed me to simply stand beside her and let her fly.
So I sat, on a bed with no sheets, near a pile of clothes unhung, as she unpacked everything and arranged it to her liking. I nodded and smiled. I laughed and listened.
I let her fly.