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Brooke Shields posts teary goodbye as she leaves oldest daughter at college

"My unique and extraordinary baby girl spreading her wings."
/ Source: TODAY

It's the time of year when parents of college-bound freshmen are stocking up on blue IKEA bags and XL twin sheets (for their kids) and tissues (for themselves).

Actor Brooke Shields ("Suddenly Susan"), 56, joined the fray this weekend when she and husband Chris Henchy and daughter Grier, 15, dropped oldest daughter Rowan, 18, off for her first year at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Shields documented the big day on Instagram.

"My unique and extraordinary baby girl spreading her wings. I love you so. We are so proud of you," the proud mom wrote in her caption alongside photos in Rowan's dorm room and video of the Wake Forest campus. She also added video from their drive after they left Rowan and headed toward home in New York City.

"This was the saddest drive away from anywhere I’ve ever had to make. But my baby is BEGINNING one of the most important adventures of her life to date…NOW!" Shields wrote.

She also made a similarly teary — though more theatrical — video about the drop-off on her TikTok account.

Shields, who has been recovering after breaking her femur back in January, has shared other parenting milestones with Rowan this spring, including her prom — for which Rowan borrowed a special gown from her mom — and her high school graduation.

In February, Shields told TODAY Parents she's careful not to be "needy" as her daughters go through their rites of passage. "They're going to say 'I hate you,' and they don't really mean it, but they do at that moment," she said.

"I have to remind myself I'm their mother, it's OK, and tell myself 'They love you, don't get needy and clingy, because you're going to push them away.'"