Silver is on her way to North Dakota as I type this. I dropped her off at the airport last night so she could catch the red-eye to Minneapolis, where she's now waiting to get on a teeny-tiny prop plane for the last leg of her journey to Grand Forks.
Tomorrow and Tuesday is her "Freshmen Getting Started", i.e. Freshmen orientation, and it's something we both felt she should do on her own. Wednesday night I'll pick her up at McCarran, but this trip signals the beginning of the true nest-leaving stage. In a few weeks, all packed-up, we'll both fly to North Dakota, where I'll spend a few days with her before band camp begins, making sure she has all the stuff she needs for her dorm room, plus proper clothing to help her survive the brutal winter there.
And that's it, then. Fully fledged, she'll start her adult life. And I'll be left with an empty nest.
Until her sisters graduate high school and decide to come live with me, that is...sometimes it happens in reverse, you know. And it's not always a bad thing.