Saturday, August 18, 2012

Day 17,118: The View from Here

Our dining room is brimming with the fixins for our daughter's freshman year of college.  We aren't finished shopping, nor have we gotten around to choosing which of her clothes to pack.  All the while I'm thinking about how we had to take a class before we got married.  We had to take another class to prepare for her birth.  So where is the class to prepare for this transition?  I could use one right now, but without it will navigate my way (albeit with some clumsiness) on my own.

Last night, my husband (her dad) and I went out with friends who had just delivered their youngest child to college the day before.  Suddenly, the four of us found ourselves magnetically attracting other parents who had already dropped off their child(ren) at school.  There was considerable sadness and lamenting within the ensuing conversations to which I could not fully relate.  I arrived home feeling emotionally depleted and a bit guilty.

It isn't that my husband and I can't commiserate with how our peers are processing this experience.  This is our one-and-only child to be kissed goodbye next week.  But this impending separation is not permanent and, quite frankly, this transition is what we've been working toward as a family over all of these years.  As we see it, parenting never stops at a specific age or stage, nor will our home ever stop being available as a sanctuary to and for her.  We anticipate that it will all shift and flow along with her growth and needs. 

Don't get me wrong.  I am going to miss the day-to-day-ness of having her right here with us.  No doubt about it.  But my husband and I have done our job of lovingly raising her well to go forth with confidence and make her way in this world.  This is cause for celebration rather than lament!  I choose to approach the future with a sense of joyful wonder and deep gratitude.

Yes, I know that there will be days ahead when I shall grieve the lack of her sweet face in front of me, but I know in my heart that we are always connected and she is just a text, Face Time or Skype session away.  Visits and breaks will always be on the horizon.  I just can't help but look forward to how our relationship as mama and daughter will evolve over time and I am eager to see what and who she becomes through this experience and opportunity.  Also, with unapologetic selfishness, I must confess that I'm curious what the next chapter of marriage has in store now that we have this opportunity to rediscover each other.  Curiosity is good.

In conclusion, sad?  Okay, perhaps a smidge.  But mostly (and immensely) proud ... of her, of us ... and excited ... for her, for us.  There is so much more to be gained here than lost and I, for one, can't wait.


Lauren said...

Oh wow, she's flying the nest huh... I remember when I left at age 17 to live 2 hours away in Long Beach, CA. I would visit a lot but it was a huge transition for my family. My parents had already been though it once before with my older sister but she only moved 30 minutes away//// then when my youngest moved to 9 hours away and there were no more kids in the house, they mourned for a while, but then I saw my parents start to get out and do more for themselves and they had time for more trips and worked on the house and did things together. They were so proud too... There really is so much to look forward to. College is fun and she'll have so much to share with you all as she spreads her wings... Good luck to you all, xo

Jakk said...

Thanks, Lauren! She will be about two and half hours away. I've done my best to share with her all of the tools that have served me well (late bloomer that I am). I have no doubt that in due time and in her own unique way she will soar.