It doesn't get easier: My daughter's well into college now, yet every time I drop her off, it hits me. It happened again when returning her to school this past weekend.
She's adjusting. And I'm not.
She's growing up. And I'm not.
There was a time when I first brought her to school that she was cautious, anxious and nervous. Everything was new and the one constant in her life — her mother and me — were about to leave. I don't recall a tougher day in my life and, I hate to tell you, it hasn't gotten any easier. No, I'm not talking about her — she's fine! It's me!
When I dropped her off at the dorm, it was like a reunion. But I wasn't a part of it.
Friends mobbed her. Laughed with her. Discussed how Christmas vacation went with her. I went from, "Dad, the driver" to "Dad, the invisible man."
Friends, and yes, my wife, tell me that I should be happy.
Well, I'm not.
I long for the day when I was the center of her life. Yes, I'm that nostalgic and yes, I'm that selfish.
I know. I know. I shouldn't mark my calendar by her vacations. But I do.
And I shouldn't hope that every ringing phone has her on the other end. But I do.
Yes, I'm the one who needs to grow up. But allow me to wallow in my self-pity when I realize that my daughter already has.
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