My boyfriend's youngest daughter recently announced that she is getting married, so we're both "losing" a daughter this year. Both of our daughters are marrying nice men who seem to adore them, but we'll both cry buckets of tears. We both did our job ... we each raised our girls into responsible women with the skills and knowledge to succeed, and one day raise a family of their own.
We're happy that they have both met someone who makes their heart skip a beat, but it wasn't so long ago that we were the ones who thrilled their hearts. We were the ones they looked to for love and protection. We were the ones they would run to in the morning to smother us in kisses and hugs. Now they're all grown up and ready to leave the nest ... and we're just not quite ready to let them go. But, they can't wait around for us to be ready, because that day will never come.
They look in the mirror and see an adult ... but we look at them and see our babies.
It's a parents job to teach their children how to live without them. We have done that, and now our job is done. There are a lot of bittersweet moments in parenthood, but "giving them away" is the bitterest sweet of them all.