As noted previously, the girl is going off to college.
We're at T-minus five days here, and then she'll be gone.
I mean 'gone' in ways literal and figurative, in that she'll 1) no longer be a constant presence in our house and 2) the girl who comes back will increasingly be a stranger.
People change enormously from their 20s to their 30s. The girl who lived here for the last 18 years will be reshaped by experiences we have nothing to do with and know nothing about. The day-to-day events that connect us like a live wire will ebb and eventually fade into sepia-toned memory.
Meanwhile, we'll be changing as well, in ways we can't begin to predict.
This arc of our shared humanity is completely normal, I know, and inevitable. We don't bring children into the world as stationary props in our little stage play.
What now feels strange and wistful will gradually become a new, more comfortable normal. We will proceed down these divergent paths as families of all species do.
We'll try to remain current and relevant in each other's lives, and hope for the best. We'll do what we can, with what we have, where we are.
We will adapt.
Right now, though...I'm grieving.