Today I'm on a journey. I'm on a physical, six hour journey to what right now seems to be the end of the earth. I'm on an emotional, seventeen-years-in-the-making journey to what right now seems to be an impossible acceptance. I'm driving Eldest, my firstborn, my magical girl, to college.
What will happen when we get there?
Will I choke? Will it be upon words that I haven't said, out of pride, or on words that I have said, in anger?
Will I cry? Will they be tears of relief, knowing that she possesses the heart of a warrior, or will they be tears of despair, knowing that she also possesses the heart of a little girl?
Will I die? Will my heart implode, folding upon itself from the weight of her leaving, or will it explode like so much dynamite with the joy of vicarious freedom?
I have known, or should have known, for seventeen years that this day would come. How selfish of me now to feel that I am being cheated out of one last year with her. Heaven (if there is such a Place) knows that I have all-to-easily and glibly voiced my desire for this day to hurry up. How silly of me now to wish it away.
But I am. And I do. Because this journey is not mine alone, nor the accompanying feelings. This is a journey that has been made since time immemorial. These are feelings that a multitude of mothers have endured since time began.
Time alone will tell what will happen today. I suspect that, yes, I will choke, and I will cry, and a part of me might die. But another part of me, a part of which I am exceedingly proud, will start to live today.