Did I see her flinch, ever so slightly? "What do you want us to do for you, Louise?"
"Let me go. Let me leave!"
"Of course you may leave. You never said before you wanted to leave."
And, oh, my blessed, she was right. All my dreams of leaving, but beneath them I was afraid to go. I had clung to them, to Rass, yes, even to my grandmother, afraid that if I loosened my fingers an iota, I would find myself once more cold and clean in a forgotten basket.
"I chose the island," she said. "I chose to leave my own people and build a life for myself somewhere else. I certainly wouldn't deny you that same choice. But," and her eyes held me if her arms did not, "oh, Louise, we will miss you, your father and I."
I wanted so to believe her. "Will you really?" I asked. "As much as you miss Caroline?"
"More," she said, reaching up and ever so lightly smoothing my hair with her fingertips. (18.40-46)
And now, Louise can finally go. All the kid has ever wanted her entire life was for someone to admit she's worthwhile, that she has something Caroline doesn't. Now, her mother finally tells her that she will be missed more than Caroline. This is all she needs to start out on her own.