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.
Posted by Jakk at 12:38 PM