Stefie is off to finish her degree at Texas State University. This weekend, we got her packed up and ready to drive away...away...away...and further away from her bedroom here at home.
Brice and Stefie were acting silly as they were loading up the truck.
I told the kiddos, "I need to get photos of each of you standing next to your vehicles...you always have to take pictures next to the vehicle you used in college, it's tradition." Of course, Brice strikes a pose on Stefie's truck.
Stefie wonders when she'll one day have automatic windows, locks and seats.
She knows that today she is simply glad to have a reliable set of wheels to take to San Marcus. This Nissan Frontier has been a good to our family.
I tell Brice that it's his turn. Go stand by your truck and get that memorable picture taken so that your kids can tease you later in life.
And Deputy Dave walks outside, taking a break from painting the ceilings in the house and he asks, "What the heck is going on?" And I wonder, "Ohhh, Honey, do you want a picture next to your truckie-wuckie too?"
One day soon, Stefie will have to add a Texas University emblem under her Aggie emblem on her back window. Since she spent her first year in college as an Aggie, she'll always be an Aggie, so that first emblem stays. One thing is for sure...she certainly is diversified.
Almost ready to leave for the near four hour trip toward Austin...Stefie says good-bye to all of the dogs.
They are in their kennels so that we can get Stefie loaded up without the dogs jumping in the truck as well.
Belle the Yorkie had wanted to go to college with Stefie, but she's staying behind with us old folks.
This is the most tough good-bye...the farewell moment with Lyla. She's been Stefie's dog for many years and they share a very close, nurturing relationship with each other. Lyla is getting old; her face is showing gray hair, but she is the best dog in the world. Stefie will miss Lyla and Lyla will most certainly miss Stefie...she will even cry outloud for a few days to make sure we know she misses her Stefie.
Daddy holds off on the painting job to give his baby a good-bye kiss. I don't think he believes she's leaving until she gone.
We all have our OCD routines in the household and these two are no exception. They do the weird hand-shakes, the butt pats and keep it in order as has been done since Stefie was a wee thing. And here's the "POW" part of the entire routine...
Deputy Dave is looking at me as if he's thinking about not letting her go. Maybe just drag her back into the house and lock Brice outside. Who needs college anyway? Did we even give her PERMISSION to grow up yet?
Okay there dad, you're gonna have to let your baby girl go --- she needs to get on the road. You've been a wonderful daddy and the job is still a busy one, so stay posted.
Oh No...Not these two. Not these two gals who are mother/daughter and best-friends and goofy buds. We love to watch our shows together. We trust each other enough to let the other hand-pluck our eyebrows. We help each other out with laundry duty. We eat lunch together. We go to the movies together. We eat at Red Lobster and share the biggest platter.
My baby is leaving home. Again. She's headed back out to live too far away so that she can one day go into a profession she dreams about entering...she wants to be a Child-Life Specialist for Texas Children's Hospital. And I know she can do it. One day, she'll be there in her office and I'll drive to the Medical Center to see her at work and to have lunch with her. One day...
Another OCD set in the family having to do their six step kiss goodbye. This is a precious moment as I kiss my daughter's hand and she kisses mine. Yes, she's about to leave. Her room upstairs will be empty.
The love between a mother and daughter is a powerful bond. We respect its power and we honor it.
And for the final bit of torture, I must stand in the yard and watch my daughter drive away until she's made the last turn and I can no longer see her. But, even if she's out of sight, she's always in my heart.
Bye my baby...for now.