We dropped her off at O'Hare, together with her friend also going to Senegal; had a hug, said a prayer, and she dragged her huge suitcases into Terminal 3 in search of Iberian Airlines. Apparently she was able to get the one problematic one on board with an overage payment; I was afraid it was going to exceed the absolute limit.
We worry, of course. The malaria suppressants didn't prevent one attack on the earlier trip. And accidents happen frequently in places where cars are ill-maintained and stars serve as street lights. And she doesn't always suffer fools gladly.
She's lived away from us for a long time now, but we'd usually see her for dinner every other week or so (me more often, since her student job was in the same building I work in). But this will be 10 months, or more if there are strikes (and there will be: teacher strikes and student strikes and random strikes).
We'll miss her, though I'm glad to see her fly.
I called it an adventure last night. Adventures are “Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner.” She's going to be 10 months late for dinner.
The better half and I and her older sister didn't go straight home, but went to Red Oak Nature Center, where her older sister and brother used to watch the bees and snakes and owls and walk the trail by the river. The almost tame Hello Crow was killed years ago. Some things were the same, but 18 years makes for a very different perspective—in all senses, and Oldest Daughter had to get down on her knees to see the bees the same way she used to. Just like Ricks had shrunk for me.