Sunday to be precise,
my eldest daughter,
will flee the nest which we call home.
She will get on a plane,
and head to the USA.
In reality she is just one,
of the thousands of Irish students,
who migrate each year,
to far away shores,
for the Summer holidays.
They tell us they are going there to work,
but we were once their age,
and we know, that whilst they will of course work hard,
they will play very hard also.
Look out America!
Since my children were babies,
I have spoken to them about moving away.
“Go and see the world”, I advised.
“I had some of the best days of my life in Australia”,
I have told them.
“We will still be here when you return”, I said often.
Well who would have guessed,
despite all evidence to the contrary,
that one of my children was actually listening to me!
This weekend is bittersweet.
My daughter is in the best of form,
and filled with excitement.
I look at her in her bedroom,
and I make a real effort,
to photograph that image in my mind.
So that soon,
when her room is quiet and empty,
I can fill it again,
with the picture I have hidden away.
I cannot believe this time has come.
It seems no time at all,
since I left my own home,
to see another part of the world.
I was only two years older than my daughter,
when I said “Good bye” to my mum and family.
I am conscious too,
that that was the beginning of the end,
of my life in the house of my childhood.
I have no reason to believe,
that my daughter will not return,
to live many more years with us all.
However it has made me sit up,
and take note.
This tall, beautiful, confident girl before me,
is no longer my little girl,
regardless of how much I close my eyes,
block my ears and pretend.
When I leave her to the airport next week,
I will do so smiling happily,
a proud mum to this grown up girl.
But as she leaves and goes out of sight.
I cannot promise not to cry.
Oh, and if she is waitressing any where near you,
please tip her well,
so that we wont have to!