Today is a milestone of sorts: the oldest, Nighean Gheal, will return home from abroad with a college degree and a brief stay before disappearing off to a summer internship (and quite possibly, no more than visits for returns; the youngest, Nighean Dhonn, will take her driver's test.
This happens, of course - as I told someone once who asked if I was sad about Nighean Gheal leaving for school, a little but not a lot: after all, we try and raise them to be independent. We should not be surprised that they then go do so.
It is the beginning of a slow avalanche of course, a sliding off of life's glacier that I can see coming even as there is little enough that can be done about it. Another two years and Nighean Bhean will graduate from college and Nighean Dhonn from high school (we large anticipate that once gone, there will be no looking back). Realistically, within two years there will just be two of us here on a regular basis.
There is nothing much for it, of course: Life moves along at its own pace and we cannot do anything to hinder its passing, only attempt to put puny roadblocks in its way to deny the reality of its coming, vain attempts to freeze Time as if such a thing were actually possible. Nor do I particularly face this particular issue with dread: in some real ways, parenting is an incredibly draining job and there is a point at which a slight break - hopefully for grandchildren, but one never knows anymore - would be more than welcome.
I am trying to plan for the eventuality now, rather than getting caught at the end with very little planned or thought of. More realistic to be prepared than surprised.
We will meet Nighean Gheal at the airport with signs and fanfare, and go out to celebrate twin accomplishments. If I feel a little fey about the whole thing, it is likely only to be the wind and the rain, nothing more.