The letters on the side of my husband’s Brown University duffel say “Brown Bears,” which is funny to my eight-year old daughter, who is using it for her first overnight camping trip – it is a foreshadow of things to come, but not yet….not yet.

Two years ago I was carrying her as we left her brother at the drop point, and she was singing and giggling and swinging her legs as we walked; I was still her favorite person.

Last year I carried her backpack for her because she was nearly crushed under it’s weight – still too young for the overnight trip where they roast marshmallows and ride horses and sit around a campfire and she cried, even as I knew had she gone I would have received a tearful midnight phone call.

This year her face is serious and excited and determined and beautiful as she drags her bag to the back of the bus along with the other overnighters – I am worried that she will be the only one who brought All the Things, until a little boy shouts, “this is heavy ’cause my roller skates!!!”

She gave me a preoccupied hug and a kiss twenty minutes ago, and told me she didn’t need me to carry anything and she let go of my hand.

She doesn’t notice me as I hurry back to my car because I have something in my eye; doesn’t know that I carry her still.


12 thoughts on “I Carry Her Still

  1. This is beautiful! Leaving my son at college was the hardest thing I’ve done so far. I couldn’t look at him as I walked out the door, because I knew we would both start crying (I made it as far as the car before I broke down).

  2. The agony we face as Moms is definitely underrated. I was right there with you, feeling your heavy heart. We know it is best for them, yet it still hurts a little.

  3. Something in your eye, huh? A heart tug of a story. I’m remembering 3 am calls to pick up my daughter from sleep-overs.

  4. This is so beautifully told. How many of your readers will surely relate to little moments like this as our children find their own feet.

  5. Hard, hard, hard! My kiddos are gone right now, only shipped off to my mother in law’s until the weekend. Even that is hard for me so I can’t imagine this. Such a sweet story.

    1. Thank you! I’m a little sad that my story didn’t involve shooting anyone or killing and eating them. Or train sex. But there’s always next week. 🙂 yes, I was ridiculous this morning. So much so that she was like “maybe you can come too…”

  6. Its so wonderful and difficult watching them grow and letting them go off for those firsts! This is so sweet and lovely. Im interested… is this true? I was wondering if ya got the anxiety ridden midnight call this year… doesnt matter how old they are its still a chance on the first time!

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