My husband was going to the store for the second time yesterday in preparation for some evening guests when I asked him to bring home some cookies. Those chocolate kind with the marshmallow inside.
He didn't point out that I had been eating healthy for a couple of weeks sticking to fruits, vegetables and proteins. He just bought the cookies.
I guess I'm an emotional eater because a few hours of sorting things in my daughter's room, counting the days -- 3 -- before she leaves for college, made me crave cookies.
I ate two when he returned and got back to the business of helping her pack her clothes.
People keep asking how I am with the move to college. I don't have a choice. My role in this is to be positive and upbeat and to eat an occasional cookie.
Grace has taken the emotional road. She cries. She lays her head in my lap when I am sitting on the couch. She hugs me whenever we are within a foot of each other. She holds my hand as we walk through the store to look for new clothes.
She chose the college 10 hours away when she originally protested going away at all.
Now she says, "I don't think I can go."
The tuition has been paid. The classes scheduled. The roommate is waiting.
My only role is to be supportive. I can show no chink in the armor.
"You can do this" is my mantra.
Now her belongings are stacked in bins.
Earl has repainted and reconstructed the window seat that Grace sat on during the play Little Women last year. She will take that with her as a bridge between her high school years and this new independent section of life. She has filled the window seat with her bedspread and mattress cover still in plastic wrapping. Within it are sets of sheets and matching towels never used.
And I can't think about that moment when we pull away from the college and she isn't in the car, when it's no longer my job to put on a brave face.
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