If you think 244 miles isn’t a long distance, ask the heart of a mother who just left her daughter behind to start her sophomore year of college. Every mile we drive, the separation becomes more palpable. I’m absolutely certain now that no matter how old my kids are or regardless of whatever dream or path they are following, I will always ache to have them near me. A mother bird feels much better when her babies are cozy in the nest. Sure she knows that one day they will fly on their own and she will celebrate that moment but there’s no denying the comfort she feels when she is physically watching over and protecting them as she guards the nest. This too shall pass just like it did last year but for now I will allow myself to mourn as I try and get comfortable in this place of feeling such loss. I know now that a child can never really know a mothers love until he or she becomes a parent. It’s not something you can explain or describe and the connection is unbreakable no matter how many miles keep you apart. My heart feels as empty as my gas tank as I get closer to home. Although my heart is sad, the joy and excitement in my daughters eyes will serve as a reminder of this amazing journey she is on. I want her to enjoy every moment and to know that each second that goes by, she is loved more than she could ever know.