It is an unfortunate side-effect of our genes that sometimes one person you love reminds you overwhelmingly of another. Four years ago there were times I'd stumble around, and sometimes at the end of the corridor I'd encounter my younger son's hand. In the haze of those days I'd confuse it, just for a few seconds, with my brother's. They had the same build, the same yielding nature, and sometimes being a big sister feels very much like being a mother.
But now Hodmandod Minor is going off to university, and of course I'm glad for him, but in a way it seems like there's two people leaving, not just one.
He'll be back, I keep telling myself, in a couple of weeks...and I know he'll love it, but selfishly I wish he were not going at all.