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Monday, October 14, 2013

A College Visit Brings Hope

Road Trip to Visit the Lieutenant Commander in Her New Habitat

“Can you see to drive?” my mother asked me as we pulled away from the dorm, as Amanda waved us out of sight

There must be something wrong with me, because I could.  If I were a plant, I’d be an indehiscent one.  I don’t cry, nor do I split open and spew seeds.

We went up for Amanda’s birthday, her grandparents’ and her sister’s first visit to her campus, for the weekend.

Being with her was great, and I was sorry to leave her, but...
...seeing her in person, looking her in the eyes and knowing all the glowing emails and texts I’m receiving from her are not a smokescreen - so Mama won’t worry - was good enough for me.

I know how it feels to want to be where I am but also want to be somewhere else.  I know that pulling, tugging feeling when you leave, even when it’s what you want.  I know that our paths - my daughter’s and the one I am on - are diverging.  Hers includes stuff I can’t even imagine.  She has already pulled away a little, like the Defiant leaving Deep Space Nine, to borrow a Star Trek metaphor.  (She’s gotten into “Dr. Who” with her new friends.)  But the Defiant always comes back to port, and so will my kid.

I have friends from childhood and from college with whom I can pick back up after months – or years – apart.  We start back in on old conversations, and we reach depths of conversation I don’t reach with some people I see daily.  We get the references, and we get each other’s jokes after all these years.

I have every reason to expect that my adult daughter will be that kind of friend.

Contributed by Elaine Jack, Assistant Editor, Today's Family magazine.


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