This one hits me hard every few months: The better a job I do at teaching my kids to love and trust themselves and find home within, the less they'll need me eventually. The measure of my success will be that they don't need me to lead them or buffer things for them anymore. Whether they go away geographically or not, they'll take the reins of their own lives.
Kids need to grow out of needing their parents. As much as we want to keep doing things for them, keep helping them with their emotions, keep owning the sweet smells of their heads and their gorgeous peals of laughter, it's not healthy to hold on so tightly. We scaffold and support and nurture and teach, until our children can do everything they need to do to be functioning members of society. Without us.
So the better we are at parenting, the more able they'll be to fly away from us.
The good news is that the better a parent any of us is the more they'll want to be around us later. Eventually. Once they've done doing everything they want to do. And when they have kids of their own. Wanting to be near us is better than needing to be near us, because it implies choice, and deep love, and interdependence instead of dependence.
Keep going. Keep doing it right.