It never occurred to me what I'd be like when my kids left home and it always seemed like it was about a million years away - until Hadas got into IASA, which meant she'd live on campus, in Jerusalem, starting this fall (i.e. last week).
On Thursday, after she finally finished packing her things, we drove to Jerusalem, got the key to her dorm room & went to set things up. Then there were about 4 hours of really interesting speeches (seriously) that made me totally jealous that I'm not going there (I'll omit the part about having to spend quite a lot of time keeping Yirmi from screaming) and then ate a dinner that looked much better than it tasted. And it didn't look that good. Hadas said they'd made a special effort for the parents and that the food she'd had when she spent 3 days there in April was actually worse. Maybe I don't need to worry about her gaining weight there...
I cry really easily. Perhaps I can blame the pregnancies, but maybe I was just always really emotional... in any case, when I drove off on Thursday, we just hugged each other and said goodbye - no tears. Hadas called before she went to sleep and then I've spoken to her every day since. She still feels like she's in summer camp, is getting along amazingly well with her 3 roommates (in their very simple, small room) and seems happy. When I talked to her on Sunday, we talked about food and she said she misses real food - so today I made her rice and chicken, with her favorite sauce and packed it up for her to take to her dorm. That's the first thing I've done that makes me feel really old.
She came home today to be at the scouts (she has a group of 5th graders) - about 1-1/2 hours each way - and she got to spend a total of about 20 minutes at home. The older kids go away a lot anyway, since they spend time with their dad, but it's so different - she doesn't really live here anymore & when she comes home, it will be to visit us. It's hard to get used to the idea. I'm really happy for her and I know the school is a fabulous opportunity - she's going to get the kind of education most people can only dream of. But I kind of miss having her around.
5 years ago