Her brothers carried her boxes out to the car. She asked an honest question, “Is there anything else I need to know?’

Her dad joked and said, “Nope, you’ll do fine.”

I looked into her eyes and I saw fear behind the questions.

Though she went to a university eleven hours away and has traveled internationally, there’s something different today. She’s moving to a new city ten hours away, taking her first “big girl” job as a college graduate.

God’s provided an apartment for her with a family she knows. What’s the fuss?

Kenny Chesney says it best, “There goes my life.” 

It’s that feeling I got the first time I dropped her off at her grandma’s house when she was four weeks old so I could get groceries. 

Or when I dropped her off at Mrs. Martin’s kindergarten class and cried the whole way home. 

When she spent the night at that friend’s house I didn’t know so well.

The feeling of seeing your most precious possession put into the hands of someone else, of the unknown, of herself.

Logic tells me she’ll be okay. Friends tell me she’ll figure it out. I tell myself it’s no different than going to college or getting on a plane for Guatemala. But my heart says, 

There goes my life.

I’m glad my mom raised my sisters and I to be independent and strong. I’ve tried to raise her the same way. God naturally made her strong and independent. 

me and kayleeSo, why am I crying at 11:42 at night?

Because of other nights I couldn’t sleep and I’d go upstairs, lay beside her bed and pray about moments like this. 

Because of the moments I was scared at twenty-three, not knowing how to raise her.

Because of times I read “I Love You Forever,” and tears fell on her hair that smelled like Baby Magic.

If I could, I’d crawl on the floor in her room right now if she were sleeping. I’d pick her up and say, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll love for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”

But she’s still awake, hanging out with her brother, rolling her eyes after seeing my red ones. 

“It’s no different than going to school” she says. 

And just like eighteen years ago when she walked into Mrs. Martin’s classroom, I turn quickly so she doesn’t see my tears.

Because there goes my life. 

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