Birds lay eggs.  The eggs hatch.  Squawking baby birds demand food, care.  Mother and father birds give up their very guts to feed their young, whose feathers grow in ugly fits until they are, one day, beautiful.  And then they take that leap from the nest and, hopefully, fly.

Our beautiful oldest daughter is taking those first flights.  My heart is full and aching at the same time.  I am so proud.  She is kind and intelligent.  She thinks of others.  She thinks through (most of) her decisions.  She is a wonderful daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend.  She is going to be a fantastic mother, aunt, teacher, employee.  She was my first little girl and she is my first child to leave for university.  Her leaving will change our family forever.  I will miss her.  We will miss her.  And we will wait patiently for her to come back and change us again.  If you love something, set it free.  If it comes back to you, maybe it loves you back.  

Fly ba-by bird.  Fly.