“How did you fit everything in that orange backpack, sweetie?”

The sun streamed in through her sliding glass door. It was mid-morning, and she already looked like she had never left for college. A wet towel hung over her pink desk chair, and her fuzzy sky-blue bathrobe still lay carelessly tossed on the floor. Her closet doors were flung open, and she rummaged around as she replied, “I don’t know. I didn’t pack much. I’m trying to figure out what to take home.”

My breath caught in my throat. Home? She is home…at least, I thought so. She was nearly born in this house, in this very room. She slept and woke and laughed and cried and lived, all right here. At home.

I gazed out the window, searching the landscape for the right way to respond. Keep it casual, I thought.

“Right. It’s gotten a bit colder there, hasn’t it? At home…” I remarked, casually walking out the door so the sunlight didn’t catch the tears pooling in the corner of my eyes.mill river

This post was inspired by the novel The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan, about two estranged sisters who are forced to work together in order to uncover the hidden inheritance by their mother. Join From Left to Write on December 2nd as we discuss The Mill River Redemption and enter to win a copy of the novel. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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  1. Ah, I can so relate to this beautiful post! I am counting the days until my daughter (a college senior) comes home for the holidays, knowing this will be the last time she comes home what she thinks of as home as she gets ready to graduate and become a teacher. So bittersweet and so proud. One way or another, they are always our babies. πŸ™‚
    Kate @ Framed Cooks recently posted…Peppermint Snowballs!My Profile

    1. Kate, you are one step ahead of me and to be honest, i can hardly think of it. It must be so exciting and gratifying to see her go on this next hige life step, yet also scary to know that what is will never be wuite the same. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

  2. I’m 32 years old and haven’t lived with my parents in YEARS, and yet I still call their home, “home.” In fact, I refer to my current studio apartment as “home,” also. The house in which I grew up will ALWAYS be home — and I’m sure your daughter feels the same!
    Ali A recently posted…How to Irritate Me in Five Easy StepsMy Profile

    1. Oh thank you, Ali- i hope so. Its so strange to these foundational changes in our family. Exciting, scary, and definiteky bitter sweet!

  3. Wow, this is so touching! My husband and I don’t anticipate moving anytime soon, but our son has already told us that he wants to live in our house forever. When he goes to college, he is going to have his own house, right next to ours, in our front yard. πŸ™‚
    Darcie Chan recently posted…The Cornwell MansionMy Profile

    1. Darcie, one part of me ( a big one!) wishes they could stay that close forever, and another part is so thrilled to see how wonderfully independent my daughter has become. Thanks for writing a great story that inspired me!

        1. Darcie, I never stop missing their littleness either…not that I don’t love every stage they go through, but when they’re little the possibilities seem so endless. Now that mine are both teens, sometimes it feels like my work is nearly done. That makes me kind of sad. And you’re welcome-The Mill River Redemption is a great read!

  4. Ouch!!! That has got to be a bittersweet feeling. Happy that she is loving school and feeling home but so sad that she has found another place that feels that way. Jennifer I am not looking forward to this yet I know that it is a wonderful thing to watch our children move on and grow. Why does it have to happen all so fast!!!!! Beautiful!
    Kathy Radigan recently posted…Friendship LostMy Profile

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