Growing up is fun.
Watching your young grow up, not so much.
When you leave the nest,
It’s all an adventure. Excitingly full of potentialities.
But every flap of the young bird’s wings
Claws, wrenching at her mother’s heart.

Earlier today, we put my little sister on a train. She is off to start her first job. She has lived at home these past 21 years, apart from being away at chess tournaments and coaching camps. Watching her leave was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and I’ve been living away from home since I was 18.

She looked so small and young and frail, standing at the door of the coach, waving at us, her eyes brimming over. Back at home, everything reminds me of her, the wreckage of her packing, the doll she says scares her in the dark. I have to look away from the photographs on the wall, and hide in my work to keep from crying.

And I cannot say any of the sentimental things I want to say out loud, or I’ll have two weeping parents on my hands.

Having younger siblings is an excellent lesson in being kinder to your parents.