Ages ago, I used to tell Lily that when she went to college that I was going to take the RV and park it beside the dorm. Later, Josh aged into this, and I explained that I would spend every other night beside each dorm. They probably still worry that I'm going to make good on that threat.
One of the trials of growing up is coming to grips that your parents are always going to see you differently, not as the adult you are. I still see my own mother caught in that warp, even now as she hardly recognizes us anymore.
One of the trials of growing older is learning to let go, not because you want to, but because you have to. It's a part of the job, and for as much as our heads tell us letting them move along on their own trajectory is the right thing to do, our hearts tell another story. Somehow, we learn to reconcile that tension, or more likely, we learn to live with it.
Lily came for my birthday, not on the day she wanted, but on the first day she had off and on which I could avoid working for the time she was here. She was all proud of herself for setting up an aquarium for the fish I got later. We had lunch at the Flying Saucer where her boyfriend surely was smitten with the skirts the waitresses wear. We had ice cream over by Meredith. And then, all too soon, it was time to leave lest the RTP traffic hold them hostage for the night. I think there's going to be a card in there somewhere.