I’m not ready for this

This young woman is my daughter, Annie, from 5 years ago.

This morning, I dropped her off at high school marching band camp.

I’m not ready for this.

I’m not ready to let go of the baby I sang to sleep every night with my own adagio¬†versions of Pogues songs. I’m not ready to let go of the tears I shed watching her bus leave for kindergarten. I’m not ready.

I’ve celebrated every milestone for the last fourteen years, from when she first slept through the night to the moment she grew taller than me.

As I pulled away from the school, I realized this was a big one. We’re only four years away from being a legal adult. Four years away from college, or wherever else her life and desires take her. The last fourteen years have gone by so fast. I can’t fathom only four more.

I know this post is probably dull for those of you whose children have hit this milestone and gone on. Millions of kids start high school every year – it’s the inevitable march of time. And for some reason, this moment has hit me. Setting her school schedule didn’t do it. The first parent sessions didn’t do it. All the preparation from this summer, including taking an online class didn’t do it.

There’s something seminal, though, and seeing your child get out of your car and enter a new world on her own. And while I’m not ready, she is.

Which means that for the moment, my job is done here.

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