I thought by now I'd be used to this; this leaving thing.
I'd walk them to the front door of the kindergarten class, hug them and tell them everything is going to be okay, wave at them one last time through the window in the door and then walk away. And cry.
On that first day of first grade I'd walk them to the bus stop , squeeze them tight as the bus rolled up, and then watch as it rolled away. And I'd cry all the way back to the house.
When it came time for high school the reassurances were less needed (or at least publicly so) but the drill hadn't seemed to change, even though I thought it should have. The minute the car door closed and I was out of their sight I would cry.
It's not that I didn't know that my part in the story was to raise my children to let them go, it was those spaces between the big chapters; those Sunday nights driving home alone after dropping them back at their mother's house. I thought I had already done my crying. I thought I would have become familiar with this pain. But I was wrong.
Friday night my boy and I hugged in the yard in front of my house, he got in his truck and drove away with a wave and a honk on his way to school on the other side of the state. I went inside and cried.
It's a pain I don't suppose I'll ever get used to.