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Good-Bye

By Melissa McQuarrie

Two days ago I sat in Primary and watched as my youngest child—my baby—received her Faith in God Award and stood at the front of the room, smiling, braces flashing, as the other Primary children sang, “If you’ll miss her and you know it, wave good-bye. If you’ll miss her and you know it, wave good-bye. If you’ll miss her and you know it, then your face will surely show it [here they all pretended to wipe their eyes, as if they were crying]. If you’ll miss her and you know it, wave good-bye.”

She just turned twelve last Thursday. In fact, today she starts junior high and my next-youngest child—my blond-haired boy who just yesterday, I swear, was starting kindergarten—starts high school. I still can’t figure out how we got here: one minute I was nursing newborns and changing diapers and watching wispy-haired one-year-olds take their first steps; the next I’m sending lanky adolescents out the door to junior high and high school. Even more unfathomable to me is that this past Sunday morning—the same day that my youngest graduated from Primary—my second-born, my eighteen-year-old son, had his final pre-mission interview with the stake president (his final pre-mission interview!) and moved into his freshman dorm on Sunday night. He’s off to BYU for a semester before leaving on a mission, hopefully right after the Christmas holidays.

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