(and other sad observations, now that Step 2's in college ...)
We helped Step 2 move into her college dorm for the first time a couple of weeks ago, on a Friday. The Wednesday before that was her "last supper" with us, which should have been one of her favorite meals, but instead ended up being pizza. This severe miscarriage of justice was the result of a number of factors, not the least of which included extreme denial on my part. We consoled ourselves with the notion that, hey, she's not leaving forever, you know. She really can come home for dinner if she wants to; it's only an hour away.
Still, at the end of grace before dinner that night, we added in chorus, "And God Bless [Step 2], on her last dinner with us before college!" and suddenly everyone let out a spontaneous wail. And we weren't even kidding!
We miss that sweet girl.
Step 2's college is a wonderful place, and even though the adjustment is understandably hard for her at times, we know she'll be just fine. Not so sure about us, though!
After we dropped Step 2 off, The Chief turned around in the car and looked at Junie B. "Now you're the oldest," he said simply. I caught my breath sharply at the enormity of it all. It was like we'd lost our moorings. "The Girls" -- meaning Step 1 & Step 2 -- have always been there. Sure, they weren't with us half the time, but they were always around. If they weren't with us today, they'd be here tomorrow, after all!
And now they aren't.
Step 1's all done with college and is enjoying life in her first "real" apartment -- also an hour away, but in the other direction. Step 2's all done with high school and is adjusting to life as a full-time college student.
And, while we knew we'd miss them, of course, when this day finally came, I'm surprised to discover how big is the hole in our home and our hearts, now that both of them have moved on.