One Month

My daughter goes to college in one month.  One month.

For those of you who are wondering why I haven’t been blogging much….my daughter goes to college in a month.

One would think this would be the perfect time for advice, the perfect time to tell her all the things that I want her to engrave on her heart, and you would be right.  Instead, I am just sad and all of my words feel inadequate and I’m so overwhelmed by all of the things I want her to know that I don’t know where to start.

As she pulls away, I am painfully aware that it wouldn’t make much difference anyway.  Do you remember how smart you were when you were 18 and about to leave home for the first time?  In the last days of your mother’s desperate advice, how much made you pause and how much went in one ear and out the other as you worked on having it all figured out on your own?  This is the thing about parenting.  All of these years are preparation for THIS TIME…the time that she will go out on their own, learn to live without me, figure out her own answers, and stop listening to me…at least for a little while.  (Don’t worry…I know she will be back.  We all come back right?)

So if this is the goal, why don’t I feel accomplished?  Why don’t I feel like I made it?  Why do I feel so sad?

I will return to the advice when I can.  Right now I’m propping myself up for the emotional avalanche of the next 30 days. I’m thinking about how far we have come.  I’m reminding myself every day that she will be fine (after all, I’ve prepared her to not need me).  I’ll take care of the details like shopping for dorm room décor and making that first tuition payment and I’ll pretend I have more time, more time to imprint my heart on hers, to hope that the values I have taught her shine out of her like a beacon and that this separation is what it is all about.

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8 thoughts on “One Month

  1. This September will be my son’s third term and I still feel the way you do. It is heartwrenching but also so satisfying that he can make it on his own (with lots of phone calls in between). I understand how you feel as much as someone else can – the beautiful letters you have written in the past are going to stand her in good stead. We have to keep a stiff upper lip–but mine still quivers

  2. This blog really reminds me of when I moved off to college last year (Fall 2011). I was a transfer student from a community college, so I made the move when I was 21. I know the process was hard for my mom too. I know she was dreading it because I even spent an extra few years after high school still in the house completing my general education. But, the inevitable couldn’t be pushed off any longer. I remember the look on her face when her and my dad dropped me off at the dorm and drove away. I’ll never forget it (: It was a mix of worry and delight and excitement. But, these are happy times! Good luck.

  3. Ms. Andrews! Emotion is such a beautiful thing. It’s okay to cry, but make sure they’re tears of joy and excitement. You know, I think I cried a little the first few night away from home. But I’m so used to it now! You’ll get used to it too. I’m so happy for you though. You’ll be just fine.

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