Posted in Writing Life

*Milestone: She’s Leaving Home

My older d is off on a class trip. She’ll be away for several nights. This morning I stood on the porch and waved while she walked with her friend, knapsack on her back, dufflebag in one hand, small suitcase on wheels in the other. She looked back several times, a big smile on her face. I confess: there were tears in my eyes; there are tears in my eyes as I write this. It was all I could do not to break down and blubber.

When I got to the top of the stairs, A was waiting to put his arms around me. He said, “I hear report that you got weepy.” Younger d had told on me, and I sank into his shoulders, laughing and crying at the same time. Then I went to the bathroom to wash my face. But the bathroom is my favourite blubbering place, so I sat on the toilet and cried some more in private. I thought, “I had to be the first one to hold my children, and I will be the last one to see them off and wave goodbye.”

There–I am blubbering again.


Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

10 thoughts on “*Milestone: She’s Leaving Home

  1. (Tears) Lilian, I have said goodbye to my daughter several times (college, college again (Masters), marriage 1, marriage 2, and the three times she got her own place.)

    I can so sympathize with you. I love the quote, “I had to be the first one to hold my children, and I will be the last one to see them off and wave goodbye.” (tears again)

    Well, a very heartfelt post – thank you for shaing. I’ll get a cup of coffee now and give more thought to the times I’ve said goodbye – not only to my daughter, but to all my loved ones. Great post!!!

  2. I feel for you. I remember well the first time my son left home – for a cub scout weekend. I spent the whole time hoping he’d be OK – and he spent it having a whale of a time. He’s grown up now with kids of his own and I still spend time hoping he’s OK.

    1. Margaret, at least now she can’t go off on her own very far. When they are able to travel on their own, I don’t know how I’ll manage. The ability to let go must grow as children grow. I remember the first day of school, my anxiety over my children spending a whole day away from me, without my knowing what was going on for them.

  3. I feel for you – I’ve been there recently and it is awful. I’d like to say it gets better, but I still worry and fret all the time he’s away. Oh I’ve just read Booksplease’s comment and it’s wonderful. She says it exactly right. Hugs to you, Lillian. Letting them go is just the hardest thing of all.

  4. Oh my, now I’m tearing up! What a lovely image, however, of your brave face and her bold smile. And I will forever remember the line from the poem you quoted to Litlove.

  5. All those good bye’s we say to children – it does get easier, but there’s always a small cold spot in the heart until you know they’re back where they belong again 🙂

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