Descending from the stairs leading to the underpass where we had to take the bus back to our hotel, my eyes (and I could see my husband’s too) welled, and then we could no longer control the tears. We were actually leaving our baby behind! And as the bus rolled, we allowed ourselves to feel the pain of letting go of a massive part of who we are, as parents … as human beings.
For eighteen years, she was always with us. She was part of us. She completed us. Coming back home, the house looks empty … dreary even. She is missed in our every move. Breakfast is no longer fun without someone asking me to make her favourite “Koka”. Ordering from Swiggy is no longer exciting because I no longer have a partner in perusing the menu. Going for spa treatment is not something I look forward to anymore because I don’t have my best buddy to go with. Shopping has become boring because my best friend is not there with me to comb the shops at the mall. Watching our favourite telenovela is no longer entertaining because I don’t have anybody to play the guessing game as to what is going to happen next.
Seeing her room instantly brings back tears into our eyes. Going through her things makes us wildly emotional. Thinking about her is all that we do now. Hearing her voice has become the highlight of each passing day.
No one ever told us that the hardest part of parenthood is when your child goes off to college.
I blinked and she’s no longer the little baby I drove to preschool, the little girl who owned the stage at every school function, the ten-year-old who hated her braces, the teenage brat who wanted nothing more than to be left alone to read in the comforts of her room, the young lady who slayed every stereotype. Before I could open my eyes again, she has metamorphosed into the young adult who wanted to prove herself.
Parents dream of nothing but the best for our children. And we are no different. We allowed her to choose the path that would take her to where she wants to be, someday. Seeing how she was in the first few days at the university strengthened our belief that yes, our little one is all set to take on the world, spread her wings wide … fly high and touch the sky.
The depression brought in by letting her go is a small price to pay for the bright future we could already see ahead of her. In a couple of weeks, we’ll get used to it. Having said that, it doesn’t mean we won’t miss her anymore, it only means that we have started planning and looking forward to the next occasion we see her again.
Time does fly … and yes, I am willing to blink again for I am sure the next time I open my eyes, she will be with us wearing a lot more feathers firmly planted on her cap.