It was a Monday afternoon in October when I received the text, “mama I miss you.” I wasn’t surprised by it and had even come to recognize the polarized feelings that followed. The knife in the stomach knowing my daughter, a freshman at Southeast Missouri State, was lonely and sad, contrasted with the feeling of relief that she still needed me at the age of 19. As I managed this emotional dichotomy, I quickly picked up my phone to fire off a response before my next meeting. Despite the fact I thought I knew what was driving my daughter’s dilemma I didn’t want to make any assumptions. “I miss you too, sugar…what’s going on?” Claire’s response, “I’m lonely.” Followed by mine, “I know it’s hard right now. How about if we brainstorm some ideas tonight after school and work?” She agreed.
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