Having Ky leave on the bus to head back to college was, as anticipated, pretty hard. I'd gotten used to being in my role of Mom to a teenager again and it's the role I think I've loved the most in parenting. I know, every stage (except age 3) was "my favorite" and that hasn't changed over the years. I still think each year is my favorite.
But I've never felt like an especially natural, wonderful mother. At least not compared to those who post every triumphant and perfect moment on blogs. As a single mother, I never really knew if I was doing it right. I didn't have a partner to bounce things off of, and I never had the chance to take a time out to reconsider or observe things with any perspective except "in the trenches."
But parenting Ky as a teenager has always felt really good, really natural and right. I felt like maybe 8 times out of 10 I really was making the right choices, saying somewhere in the neighborhood of the right things. And for me, who was never a 10/10, hit-it-out-of-the-park-each-time mother, 8/10 felt like HUGE success. Near perfection at times!
So yeah. Watching my teen stumble onto the bus with a raft of other teens going back to college, in their new Christmas boots and North Face jackets, dragging skis and kicking backpacks and duffles along the filthy bus station floor as they texted furiously and drowned out the bus driver's announcements with shiny looking Beats that cost more than the Frye boots I splurged on for my birthday. Ky in 4 year old Doc Martins and LL Bean coat and a fuzzy blanket wrapped over shoulders like a long trailing cape.
The drive home for me filled with exhaustion, sadness, missing Ky already, looking forward in some small way to having the house and my time to myself. This will be "the usual".
Back to contemplating the view from outside the trenches of daily hands-on parenting.