New student college orientation with my middle daughter. The push/pull is painful. For both of us. She walks ahead of me, but I'm not allowed to leave. She channels her stress at me (bullseye), but I'm not allowed to react.
When I parry--not a good strategy--it escalates.
When I burst into tears (I'm losing a limb, for God's sake) while she's just trying to take a shower, it's not ideal.
When she allows tears on Day 2 because she skipped lunch because because she had to be "on" for 12 hours after four hours of sleep after canceled flight (re-routed from IND to ORD into four-hour drive into 2am arrival) because advisory appointment on her own because a zillion people she doesn't know because humidity hair because ALL THINGS utterly foreign because mom and dad got divorced because life is f'n scary and hard and thrilling because mom brought the wrong clothes because away from sisters for the first time in 18 YEARS because loss and gain and growth and pain ...