When Hannah left two years ago, she was moving to Walla Walla to be with my family. I was thrilled with her choice, and so happy that she would be with family. I never imagined the emotion that would hit me the night before she left as I realized it was the last night with all three of my children under my roof. From then on, Hannah would be visiting us – not living with us. I sobbed myself to sleep.
I didn’t imagine it would be emotional to take Ali over to NNU (Northwest Nazarene University) to move into the dorms. After all, she has spent the whole summer away in Walla Walla working on the farm, and that didn’t phase me a bit. I missed her, but I wasn’t emotional about it. Now even though she is only 11 miles away, I am mourning. The emotions that hit me yesterday as I helped her move into her dorm, and attended the parent’s meeting took me by surprise. This is much worse than the first day of kindergarten! My cousin Mark is leaving his first-born away at college this weekend, too. He describes this experience as “brutal”.
When Ali was about 8 years old we were vacationing on the Oregon Coast with Ellene. Ali was being her typical energetic self, and was flitting happily around the room. Ellene said to her, “Oh what a pretty little bird you are”. Ali responded with a loud and very crow-like, “CAW! CAW!”
Go fly my pretty little bird! Don’t forget to throw some good “CAW”s in here and there!