I have an on going minor battle with my son's nursery school. Like his last one, they are adamant on the importance of saying goodbye. Just the other day, I got my son installed at the breakfast table, gleefully tucking into oatmeal in a way he never will at home, put his lunchbox and water bottle in the fridge, restocked his cubby with changes of clothes and after confirming he was still thoroughly engrossed in his repast, left. One of the teachers actually ran and opened a window demanding I say good bye to him. My son, briefly glances over his should and says "see you later!" in Danish and I reply. I remember so many movies, spanning more than one culture, where there is a big dramatic scene of someone learning a loved one has died and the first reaction of the survivor is "I never even got to say goodbye." Now while it seems highly unlikely that I will die in the near future and I certainly hope to live a good long time, I would hate that to be the crux of the drama, this seeming importance of the goodbye. In the beginning, I didn't say goodbye to my son, because I didn't want him to notice I was leaving, I still don't say goodbye, because I don't want it to be a big deal. 5 days a week I drop him at børnehave, roughly 5 hours later I come back. I will always come back. This is normal. When we are home, we say good bye and hello to let the other occupants know that we are coming and going. My husband only works outside the house 3 days a week and for and the kids our comings and goings are totally unpredictable. It's important for us to announce our entrances and exits. For nursery school, I'm taking my son there, he knows I'm going to leave after he's settled in, he knows I'm going to come back, there's no mystery, this is the routine, so why say "goodbye!" Heck, have the time I don't say hello, I just sit and watch him play until he notices me there. I'd like to think, like my grandmother, I will live to 100 and I'd like to think that whether my children are there or not for my passing, their first thought won't be whether they said goodbye, because a part of my spirit will always be with them, either physically as a ghost or metaphorically in all the ways I've helped guide and shape their childhoods.