Today I Left My Daughter at University

mother-daughterToday, I left my daughter at university…

Her dad and I helped her carry everything up three flights of stairs to her dorm room.  And I remembered when she used to wrap her tiny hand around my index finger and we would slowly count the front steps to our house while she worked her way up. 1…2…3…

 I tried to put her sweaters away but she didn’t want my help.  And I remembered when she used to say “myself” while insisting on dressing herself, even though she couldn’t work the buttons and would inevitably wind up throwing a half-naked tantrum in the middle of her bedroom floor.

I reminded her about the flashlight I packed in case there was a power failure, but she wasn’t listening.  And I remembered setting up an aquarium in her bedroom because she didn’t want people to know that she was still (at age 5) afraid of the dark, so instead of a nightlight we turned on the aquarium bulb when she went to bed (so her fish could swim in fake sunlight).

I ran out to the grocery store and brought back a bunch of food that she didn’t ask for and seemed a bit annoyed about (because storage space is limited).   And I remembered that sometimes she likes wheat thins but sometimes she likes rice crackers, and hummus is her favourite study snack. And she needs chocolate for “sad” days and apples for mornings when she is running too late to eat breakfast and Chip Ahoy cookies because they are delicious!

I wandered aimlessly around the campus while she got her student card and her orientation package because I wasn’t quite ready to leave.  And I remembered coaxing her to order for herself in restaurants, and to stand in movie ticket line ups, and to put food on the conveyor belt at the grocery store. And how proud she was to be a “big girl” who could take care of herself and help mommy.

Then I gave her a quick hug and a kiss and got in the car. And let her father be the one to get the longer hug and the longer kiss because everyone in the family knows that he’s the “softie” who gets upset about this stuff.  And I sat in the passenger seat of a Subaru station wagon and remembered the smell of her newborn head. And the way she folded in against me when I nursed her. And the feel of her tiny hand around my index finger…

Author: kim scaravelli

Kim lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with her long-suffering husband, an assortment of off-spring, a charming cat named Winnie, and a less charming (but oddly loveable) schnauzer named Buster.

9 thoughts

  1. Brought tears to my eyes Kim, I guess that moment is upon us too. Henry goes to Western on Saturday 4-5 hours away. Dom is taking him, I will be a bag of tools.

    Nicely written!

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    1. In the end… we all end up a bag of tools. I spent most of last night eating foods that were bad for me and watching old episodes of Friends. Sigh.

      Like

  2. Awww it’s never easy being a Mum. I felt like this when My daughter moved to France to work for a summer. She stayed for 5 years!! (And she’s coming home this week for a little while before she goes travelling for 6 months 😁)
    Another wrench!

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