When this column was first published in August 2006, readers wrote saying that this is how they feel. Since then, we have reprinted this piece around this time each year, and the comments are always the same. Because saying goodbye to a child going off to college for the first time is a thing that never changes.
I wasn’t wrong about their leaving. My husband kept telling me I was. That it wasn’t the end of the world when first one child, then another, and then the last packed their bags and left for college.
But it was the end of something. “Can you pick me up, Mom?” “What’s for dinner?” “What do you think?”
I was the sun and they were the planets. And there was life on those planets, whirling, nonstop plans and parties and friends coming and going, and ideas and dreams and the phone ringing and doors slamming.
And I got to beam down on them. To watch. To glow.
And then they were gone, one after the other.
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