TG is really and truly a college student now, surrounded with college and all things college-related. By the time I got home from work yesterday, she had her things packed and ready to go. She had even tidied up her bedroom!
Daniel and his friend Austin met us at her dorm and helped us get her moved in, showed her the right way to swipe her ID card to get into the building, gave her bits of advice and answered questions her dad and I couldn't.
As evening settled in, we took a break to treat the kids to pizza and hoagies at the Mellow Mushroom on the Drag. Before finally heading back home in the empty van, leaving my baby girl behind, alone because her roommate hadn't yet shown up, we unpacked a few boxes, made her bed, and stocked up on hugs and kisses.
It was a long, quiet ride home, heat lightning flashing silently around us...home to a house now empty in a totally different, weird way.
So what the heck was I thinking today?
I decided to watch a movie while I worked out - I've been a slug for a week now and didn't feel quite up to Trainer Ted's standards yet. I chose something no one except Tommy would agree to watch with me lately, and he was just being sweet: "Mary Poppins." (Tommy even agreed it's really a good movie, or at least better than he remembered - he caught all of the adult humor this time. If you think it's just a kids' movie, you need to take another look! It's really very funny, has great acting and timing...it's one of only a handful of movies that I think is better than the book.)
But, really, what was I thinking? It's tells the story of someone who becomes very attached to the children she is taking care of, only to have them stop needing her. The ending scene shows how they have totally forgotten all about her! You don't have to be a psychologist to see the significance of my choice!
I realized all of this as I was clicking through the previews, but I decided to watch it anyway. At least the first thirty minutes or so, when they clean up the nursery, one of my favorite scenes - wishful thinking, probably. ("Just a teaspoon of sugar helps the medicine go down..." is actually a bit of sound advice for my present situation, I think.)
And then I fast forwarded to the end scene...the one where the kids are happily flying kites and singing "Let's Go Fly a Kite" (that song always made me cry even when I was little for some reason - a premonition, perhaps?) and Mary watches them wistfully and shushes her umbrella when he talks about how ungrateful they are because they've totally forgotten her, and she just smiles that little smile and says "That's as it should be."
She's right, of course. And I know it. This is how it should be and what I've worked for since the day they were born. So I ended up not crying, even during "Let's Go Fly a Kite," because I realized I'm actually happy and excited for TG as she starts this new adventure of her life.
Besides, I know from my own experience, and with Tommy and Daniel, that she's not really "gone". She hasn't forgotten us, and as time goes on, she'll appreciate us even more than she does now.
Wise woman, that Mary Poppins.
The van, loaded and ready to roll...UT tower...Austin, Daniel, TG on the Drag, as it should be.
For now, anyway.