Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Elder Daughter.

It was eight years ago today that She Who Must Be Obeyed and I were dropping Elder Daughter off at Boston University, there to begin her career as a College Undergraduate. Seems like a lifetime ago...

It was a busy and exciting trip, and a long one, since we were residing in Houston at the time. Houston and Boston are a looooong way apart, Esteemed Readers.

Fortunately for my aching ass, by the time Elder Daughter moved out of the dorms and into her own apartment (thus necessitating schlepping her furniture up from home in a U-Haul truck), we had moved to Atlanta. So the drive was a mere two days of horror and aggravation instead of three. Small favors, ’n’ all that.

But there we were, at the start of Freshman Year, carrying all of E.D.’s necessities we could shove into our Checked Luggage. The voluminous and/or heavy stuff went by way of UPS, which was a minor inconvenience because UPS picked the end of August 1997 to go on strike. Bastards.

The big news of the weekend, of course, was the untimely death of Lady Diana Spencer. The Princess, married (in a fairy-tale wedding) to the Horse-Faced Prince who would later wish to be a tampon lodged up another woman’s burgoolie. Damn, life can be amusingly perverse.

The enormousness of the weekend’s events didn’t strike us until much later (Not the Diana thing. Sad, sure, but the loss of a far-away Public Figure is an abstraction, an emotion that touches you on the periphery.) We had left our Little Girl in a strange and distant city, there to begin the first steps toward establishing herself as an Independent Adult - but we were in good spirits as we headed back to Sweat City that day.

I think the real impact came about a month and a half later, when the Missus and I flew up to Boston for Parents’ Weekend. Having to get on a plane for four hours just to see our daughter was weird enough, but it was the farewell at the end of the weekend that was the toughest. We had gone to dinner and were, all three of us (the Mistress having remained behind with family friends and relatives in Houston) crammed into a taxicab. The plan was to drop Elder Daughter off near a T station, thence to return to campus, while we went on to the airport.

It was a cold night, as late-October nights in Boston are wont to be. Elder Daughter, all bundled up, got out of the cab, waved to us, and disappeared down the maw of the T entrance.

SWMBO and I just looked at each other, with tears in our eyes. Our baby was really, truly on her own here...and no longer a baby. No longer a little girl.

We hugged each other then, there in the back of that taxicab. And then we flew home.

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