It's the aftermath that's hard





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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: It's the aftermath that's hard
By Dennis (Dennis) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 10:29 am: Edit

Well, we dropped off our son at Kenyon this week. The journey (a day's drive) went well and everyone was in good spirits. The football team was on hand to unload when we arrived and before we knew it everything was unpacked and in the dorm. We were very impressed by the orientation program at Kenyon that day. The students were extremely friendly and the staff was very professional and reassuring. If only the weather had cooperated more (it was sprinkling on and off and very hot and humid). We said our farewells at the end of the day and everyone was brave and happy.

The hard part was the aftermath. On our drive to our hotel, both my wife and I were in tears intermittently. We flashed back to other big days in our son's life and agreed this felt like a very momentous occasion. Immediately we were plagued by worries about his adjustment to college life and wanted desperately to know that he was happy and having fun.

We sort of expected that the tears and sentimentality would wear off after a day or so, but that hasn't really happened. When we returned home everything we saw reminded us of our son's absence - an empty room, a favorite restaurant, his favorite TV shows, etc. My wife immediately began a baking campaign. We spoke to friends who also saw their kids off to school for the first time and many shared our feelings of both happiness and pain.

We'll see what happens over the next weeks. Maybe everything will change. All the best to all of you going through what we are right now. For all parents of seniors, in a way we were prepared for the ordeal of the college search process but we weren't really prepared for the aftermath. It's been much harder than we thought.

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 11:10 am: Edit

I know the feeling. S#2 suddenly became the sole focus of parental attention when S#1 left for college. It took a while for all of us to adjust. Maybe there should be local chapters of "recovering parents of college freshmen"?

By Latetoschool (Latetoschool) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 12:04 pm: Edit

It does get better, I promise. A sole supporting single mom, I came home to one small, lonely cat, in our suddenly too-big three bedroom home that as you might imagine for many years has been filled with giggling, happy, busy daughter and all of her friends. This is the home where everyone congregated because it's big, the location is central to the high school, and the mirrors in the upstairs bathroom are better for large groups of girls getting ready for football games, events, etc. The home that for so long was so alive, noisy, happy and warm was suddenly very cold, barren and lonely. Even the cat was depressed.

I tried to continue my participation in the sport we have practiced as a family, and, for weeks, I would arrive at our facility, change into workout gear, and just sit - and then drive home - I could not make myself do anything. It was as if the light had gone out of the world.

Then, the first Sunday evening without her, I made myself dinner, and set the table for one, determined to carry on a normal schedule, and sat down to eat alone, it was horrible, I couldn't even eat.

I'm happy to report that a sort of parental anesthesia sets in after some days; you will find your energies will be redirected.

Two years later, I still have not quite completely accustomed to telling my child goodbye. At times, when she has been home on holiday breaks, after seeing her to her departure gate on the return I have left the airport in tears.

I think the key is to take action - ANY action. Do the tasks that you have been putting off - clear out the landscaping, clean the garage, take a vacation, join a gym, take a class, remodel a room, work overtime or take on extra projects at your place of employment, do volunteer work, try some weird new food - just go do something that will enrich your lives and keep you physically and mentally busy. You don't have to make any permanent changes but the key is to just get busy. You'll sleep better, and cry less. Best of all, it seems to make them happy to know that their parents are happy and busy.

Sending them care packages helps too - it makes them really, really happy to get mail and boxes of goodies at school (even if they don't express this) and, buying them things, packing a box and mailing it to them feels good because it's some small way to continue taking care of them, but without being intrusive. And, there is always going to be something that they need, or at minimum will make their lives easier.

This year, I delivered my now junior, and though I still miss her very much, I have finally adjusted to her entrances and exits, and think this time I'm going to be o.k. - you will be fine too, it just takes time and adjustment.

By 2dsdad (2dsdad) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 12:05 pm: Edit

Dennis- I also left our child (D #1) at Kenyon last week. I took her while my wife stayed at home with D #2, since high school has been in session around here for several weeks. Perhaps #2's activities and demands on our time have allowed us not to focus too much on the impact of #1 leaving. Perhaps the good feeling we have about Kenyon helps, too. Her eagerness to move on to the next stage in her life has eased the transition. I don't know what we would have done if she had been anxious and "clingy". "Clingy" would be nice in a way because it indicated she still needed us, but, it is time to let go and it is very satisfying to see her move on. For us I think the big change will come when #2 leaves in a few years.

Sending a kid off to college certainly drives home the realization that our lives are changing and that we are growing older. I thought the counselor's remarks during the parent session during orientation were helpful and on the mark. Judging by the audible sobs and the rustle of kleenex, he touched on a lot of the feelings in that room that day.

There are only a few students representing our state at Kenyon. That made it all the more remarkable when I found myself seated on the plane ride home next to a parent of a second year Kenyon student. His daughter, though a Sophomore, had returned to school early because she plays on one of the sports teams. We started talking and then a woman seated in the row in front of us stood up and introduced herself. She had heard us talking about Kenyon and she had just dropped her daughter, also a Freshman, off at the school! The gentleman I spoke to was very enamored of Kenyon and reassured us both that our kids were in good hands. After hearing what he had to say we both felt we could relax. A little.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 12:07 pm: Edit

Such eloguest posts! I wish someone had the time to organize as a book

By Achat (Achat) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 01:27 pm: Edit

Today is my son's birhday. So the old geezers in the house called each with a telephone handset in hand. We sent a birthday care package of chocolates.

For the most part, though, I feel excitement for him and keep telling him these will be the best and more carefree years of his life and to make the most of it.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 03:41 pm: Edit

Gah. We leave at 4:45 tomorrow morning. But it still feels a bit like dying even though this is a new exciting chapter for D.

It had struck me in church this morning that this was the last time that the three of us would be there *as a family* in the same way...everyone has told me it's different "when they come back". (Some add, "And they *do* come back.") We've lived at four addresses during D's childhood so our church is probably the single most stable point in her childhood with the probable exception of the ballet studio. And soon after I was thinking this, the service ended and people whose names I didn't know came up to congratulate D and wish her well. [About not knowing the names: TheMom is as well known at church as I was at the high school and lots of people know D and me who we're not too sure of in return.]

I can already tell I'm going to be in tears at some point, I'm just not sure when.

I hope writing a novel and learning the violin fill in some of the time when I get back. My business could use a few more hours a week, too.

When I get back I'll write about drop-off if my computer isn't hit with blurry screen virus.

By Dstark (Dstark) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 04:21 pm: Edit

I was out for a walk and I was thinking... what does my daughter's leaving feel like?
And one of the feelings is...it does feel like a death.
I guess that is why this college thing is such a big deal.
I know there are tons of good things that are going to come out of this experience and my daughter is ready to go, but still, it feels like a death.

By Musicmom (Musicmom) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 04:25 pm: Edit

Well, we dropped our oldest child, son, off at school last Thursday. Emotional mom that I am, I have been restraining myself from calling him....give him some room, he'll call, etc.
So after two days, no call. Not even a 'the food is awful' or 'I got my books' call.

Well, this morning an unusually chatty son does call and seems to have all the time in the world for his old mom. I finally asked what was up and he admitted his dad had called him with some annoyance and said just call your mom, OK?

Ahhh, I guess I was venting a bit here at home!

So, dad and son are bonding over my lonely mom routine. Sigh.

P.S. Of course, he and roommate are getting along just fine, wiffle ball tournament was great, books all purchased, computer hooked up to the network,etc,etc,etc.

Guess my job really IS done! :)

By Sillystring7 (Sillystring7) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 04:38 pm: Edit

It's comforting to know that many of you are feeling the same way I feel right now. We still have a couple of weeks, as daughter's move-in date is September 18. I am so happy and excited for her, yet I feel an ineffable sadness about the upcoming parting.

She has brought such joy to my life and has been an easy child to raise -- focused, self-directed and truly a friend to both her father and me.

She is out this afternoon, meeting some students from our town who will be in her freshman class. She asked me to drop by the store to pick up a gift for her favorite high school teacher, who is a new father. She specified that she wanted to give his daughter her favorite childhood book, "The Paperbag Princess." Standing in line and on the drive home, I couldn't help but think that it seems like yesterday I was reading that book to her.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 04:53 pm: Edit

Gosh I feel terrific..I had my tears before she left..now I plan to focus my attention on other stuff..my house is starting to get super organized. My other D. wants to work on her singing career. PLUS it helps that D. seems SO HAPPY! classes start tomorrow..but she is out there meetin and greetin at the college sponsored activities. Its great.
Course she is only 45 minutes away so that sure helps.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 05:46 pm: Edit

Same here. I feel good. The downer hit me three days before he left but I recovered.

While I do get Woody Allenesque 'death' anxieties when I put him on a plane for a thirty hour, multiple connection journey, his leaving doesn't feel like a death to me.

It feels like a really amicable break-up. You know, the kind of break-up where both parties decide it would be best to just be "friends". The kind of break-up where I will get to see him a few times a year and he will send me long emails once a week.

The kind of break-up that transforms a parent-child love affair into a lifelong deep friendship. Hopefully.

By Dennis (Dennis) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 08:03 pm: Edit

Wow, thanks everyone for the responses. I will take all of your advice. I do think a "recovering parents of college freshmen" support group would be great. Just hearing from everyone is a morale booster.

Several of you mentioned sibling #2 left at home. We have one too and she is very anxious about being the "center of attention" from now on. She thinks we'll dote too much on her or put more pressure on her (she's a junior in HS). We'll try not to of course.

By Dennis (Dennis) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 08:09 pm: Edit

2dsdad, we too came away from Kenyon with very positive feelings. There was a very warm and caring atmosphere on campus and in town (they're virtually the same, I guess). We met so many nice people - from students to faculty to administrators to other parents. My friends with kids there also are very positive. My son called excited about his class schedule and already fired up by one professor in particular. His faculty advisor had him over to his house with his group of advisees and gave him great advice and assistance. Wonderful things seem to be happening in Gambier.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 09:32 pm: Edit

Sillystring, you put your finger on something: despite the age difference and the father/daughter roles, my D *is* one of my best friends. An hour's conversation with her is often one of life's pleasures.

By Sillystring7 (Sillystring7) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 10:38 pm: Edit

Thedad -- I hear you. Our daughter seems to actually enjoy our company, and that is very special. One thing I know my husband will miss is her willingness to hop into the car to go on errands with him. For example, if he goes out in the evening to make a grocery store run or gas up the car, she rides along so they can have private father/daughter chat.

We have a son who just began his freshman year of high school. He is wonderful, but a bit less talkative than his sister. A couple of weeks ago, out of the blue, he started to ride along with his father on errands. When I mentioned it to my daughter, she confided that she had asked her brother to start doing so to keep my husband from being lonely after she goes to school. Very sweet.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 10:46 pm: Edit

Aw, Sillystring, that's lovely.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 03:30 am: Edit

Awwww.

Have to say, D often hates being dragged on errands A, B, and C either to or from point X in which she is interested. Actually, I think that's one of her two or three biggest grumps with me.

I remarked over dinner tonight that she was one of my best friends. She ritually rolled her eyes and then made the Delphic pronouncement that it was both less common and more common than I might think. I invited her to run this proposition by her Calc teacher.

Gotta go to bed...alarm clock goes off in four hours.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 08:49 am: Edit

Dennis -- I posted this on another thread, but I too was caught off-guard a bit by the aftermath. Dropping her off was the easy part, I had no problem leaving her in a dorm full of people she was looking forward to get to know. It REALLY hit me the next day, when I was sitting at my desk and realizing that I wouldn't see her for almost two months, and might not talk to her for several days.

It did get easier as the year went on, but I don't think I appreciated the drastic change from essentially daily contact with your child to much less frequent contact. Hang in there. I'm dropping her off for soph year this weekend, and hoping the "aftermath" will be a little easier this time!

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:12 am: Edit

I never worried about my kids adjustment to college but always and still do worry about the Great Unknown, like an accident or something.So true, the kids really appreciate us much more after going off to college and so true it is never quite the same anyomre when they come home because they are truly maturing.Whenever they do come home I'm always delighted to see them as they have matured and how responsible they have become.Wait until the first time child forgets something significant, like sends your birthday card late or forgets to call! That really knocked me!

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:20 am: Edit

BHG -- I agree with you about the maturity thing. My D was noticeably more mature this summer than last summer. She was a pleasure to be around virtually all the time. I had anticipated lots of arguments because of her new freedom, but we really didn't argue at all! I think I was able to be respectful of her maturity and allow her more freedom that she had had in HS (which I think is reasonable), and she was also accomodating of my tendency to worry and tried to call regarding her whereabouts. While neither of us was perfect, we got along very well. She also took very good care of me when I had a medical procedure earlier this much and was recuperating at home.

Funny, when I mentioned to her that I thought she seemed so much more mature than last year, she looked at me as if I was crazy.

Your b-day card mention also reminded me that my D hadn't given me b-day cards for a few years (no particularl reason, and not a big deal to me, btw), but in fall of her freshman year I got a call from her on my 40th b-day. I was actually surprised that she had remembered my b-day in the whirl of first semester. I think it was the first time she actually called me that semester -- all the other times we had called her, lol.

By Ohmadre (Ohmadre) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:55 am: Edit

Thanks Latetoschool - your situation is mine to a 't' including the poor cat who is likely to get undue and unappreciated attention. Busy sounds like the key - but I imagine it still takes time. Care packages sound like a great way to connect. Good thing the house really needs work too. Ugh, so much easier said then done.

By Taichimd (Taichimd) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 12:47 pm: Edit

Nice to read everyone's thoughts. We're in the same situation as those that didn't lose it emotionally. We are very happy for our son. And, the way he approached the start of college that day, with maturity and confidence, helped us greatly. We just want to stand by and help him as needed, to achieve his outstanding potential.

His college orientation: Gettysburg, was phenomenal. It seemed that half the school was there to unload cars. We didn't take anything to the rooms. They had a strong program for kids and parents. Gettysburg is going to leap in the rankings over the next few yrs.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 01:06 pm: Edit

Taichimd (like your name), I have heard similarly great reports about Gettysburg from other parents. Glad you and yours are off to a good start.

By Dix (Dix) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 03:05 pm: Edit

It's been years for me of sending sons off to college. When S1 went to college I remember the void of not hearing the sound of his morning/evening piano practice. Took S2 and S3 to their universities within the past week. I miss it all... the "heya" when they walk in the door, the hugs, attending their concerts & sports, family dinner conversations, and their laughter. I still have one S at home but I miss the others as much. Instant messaging helps a bit.

By Kaci (Kaci) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 07:34 pm: Edit

I think my expectations are/were too high. Maybe someone can help me with this. Moved daughter in to school on Saturday, classes started today. I expected I'd hear from her by now -- at least an update on how her classes went. We talked briefly yesterday, but mostly because she was shopping and had a question. I am so used to being in frequent contact with her by cell phone, it just seems so strange. Several times I caught myself wanting to pick up the phone or text message her or send her an email, but I stopped myself. I appreciate that she is busy and preoccupied and needing to break away some, but this is much harder than I expected and it has only been two days! Any suggestions or experiences you can share??

By Eadad (Eadad) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 07:46 pm: Edit

I posted part of this on another thread called serendipity:

While driving my son to Chapel Hill two weeks ago I realized that the day we would arrive in his "new home" was the 20th anniversary of the day that my wife informed me that she was pregnant with him.

Got a real lump in my throat when I explained the significance of the date to him.... thinking how that date once brought his life into my world and twenty years later would start his new life apart from me.

and now to add to the OP:

The hard part is the real mix of emotions; sad because of our "loss"...the house really seems empty without him and it's strange seeing his car here but not him, and his room is so neat and clean, but happy for his excitement and new beginning.

It was tough driving away and is still tough not hearing about his day more regularly, but hearing his level of excitement about classes and new friends and adventures makes it a little more bearable.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 07:58 pm: Edit

Kaci
You could be describing my S. Every summer, I'd hear from him quickly because he forgot something, then a week would go by with nada. The only time I heard more was when he was having hard time with a roommate. Not hearing is a good thing. S gets so caught up in the moment, I cease to matter. After a week, I may get a 1-line e-mail. (He was MUCH better last summer)
Anyway, I e-mail, let him know about family and friends. find excuses to send packages. In years past, when desperate, I'd check with his friends.

After 2 days, I'd write a brief note. She may be too busy to check e-mail, have minimal 'alone' time to call, and still be on sensory overload.

By Sokkermom (Sokkermom) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 08:07 pm: Edit

Eadad:

We share the same sentiments in our house.

Last night I turned the TV on to catch the news. I happened to come across a show on the Food channel (which I never knew existed until last night). They were doing a special segment on restaurants in the NC "Triangle". Of course it caught my attention. Probably my obscure way of staying closer to son in his new home. Anyway, they mentioned that when in Chapel Hill, you have to go to "Mama Dip's". It is supposed to have the best southern cuisine in NC. (BBQ, grits, corn bread, fried green tomatoes, chicken,etc.) I don't think that is what they serve on the local campuses however. Another must visit they mentioned was Elmo's Diner on Ninth Street in Durham. It is supposed to be the best place to get a good breakfast. (Unless they serve breakfast all day, probably not much interest to my son!)

By Blossom (Blossom) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 09:26 pm: Edit

Kaci-- If you haven't heard by Thursday I think it's fine to call. If you haven't gotten the sobbing, "I have no friends why did I come here call" that some Freshman tend to make early on, consider yourself lucky. If she hasn't called and asked if she can come home labor day weekend-- that's really really good. If she hasn't called complaining that her clothes are all wrong-- you are very lucky.

Try to remember that it's not just that she's busy and preoccupied. There are lonely moments as well... and probably times when she's feeling down or just overwhelmed. However, I think it's great that she may be waiting until she can process everything before she calls you. There's nothing worse than spreading the early misery... nothing you can do about it, venting doesn't really make her feel better, so it's lots of sharing with no upside. This way she wants to call with some sense of accomplishment, i.e. made it to all my classes, was only late for one of them which is 1/2 a mile away from the previous class and I have 10 minutes to run, roommate and I bought a ficus plant and it looks really cool, coffeehouse on campus has live jazz Wed nights and the guys on my hall are really into jazz so we went and it was great and free.... etc. you get it- be proud that she wants to call you after she's "done" something, and not just lived through the first few noisy, confusing, hectic, insane days.

By Latetoschool (Latetoschool) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:41 pm: Edit

Ohmadre - it WILL get better. Having a house that needs work helps a lot. Day two or three after drop off, I got carried away cleaning one of the bathrooms, and actually resorted to polishing the lightbulbs while praying for the stubbornly silent phone to ring lol.

If you don't feel like working on the house, find some other challenging physical or mental activity - just pick something, or several somethings, and get busy. I did a lot of business travel the first year, and, later, remodeled two rooms, put a new roof on the house, and did all the landscaping. Home Depot is five minutes away and I spent lots and lots of time there her freshman year!

It will get better, and it will all be o.k. - but the cat still gets very upset and lonely each time she leaves again. He's highly socialized; misses her terribly, and basically he follows me everywhere and will not leave me alone - it's as if he expects me to somehow produce her out of thin air! He's been her pet since kittenhood - nine years now - and he totally does not get this whole disappearing for months at a time thing. The only thing that works to ease the sadness he must be feeling is to play with him more, which of course is yet another way to stay busy.

Kaci - every student is different, but I'm more in the camp of waiting for her to call you. When she's ready, she will call, and likely she'll talk for a long time. If you call her, you're likely to catch her between classes, or when she's busy, and if she doesn't really have time to talk you'll feel worse. Keep in mind that time is moving much faster for her than it is for you.

Like Bookworm suggested send her a card or note instead - that way she gets the experience of receiving mail at her new address!

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 09:37 am: Edit

Kaci -- e-mail is good for when you haven't heard but don't want to call. A quick e-mail saying -- how's it going, how are classes, etc may be a good idea. Kids are busy, but they do tend to check e-mail daily b/c the colleges communicate so much by e-mail every day.

By Fredo (Fredo) on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 11:18 am: Edit

Kaci - my daughter is the same as yours. Didn't call or e-mail. Psychologist said that's good - it's the ones who call all the time that are probably having the toughest time adjusting. She recommended calling once a week on Sunday. She said that's the day that most parents try and call (there are LOTS of us in this same boat!) so many kids are talking to their parents that day and your own kid doesn't feel out of whack.

I hadn't heard from my daughter since August 21st - no call, no e-mail. She was very clear about not wanting a ton of e-mails and phone calls, calling them too intrusive. So I backed off - and chalked it up to orientation, beginning of classes, etc.

I caved in and called her on the 29th (a Sunday). She was cheery and bubbly and sounded great. She was walking outside to her car when I called and in the first five minutes I heard her call hello to at least 5 different people. She was getting her roller blades to go skating with a friend. I got little snippets that told me she's happy - likes her classes, food is OK, roommate is OK, and the people are really nice. Do I think there's some down times? Absolutely. But that's what college is for - learning how to handle ups and downs.

For you and I, it won't be daily contact as it may be for some others. But just one good one every once in a while is probably plenty. I know I felt great after I talked to her and don't feel so anxious about being in more contact.

Good luck!

By Ohmadre (Ohmadre) on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 11:50 am: Edit

Latetoschool- Home Depot is literally five minutes from my house too and I definitely do have plans. Hope the lines of communication stay pretty open, but will let her take the lead on that. I do know I am supposed to send real notes, not just emails (I have been so instructed). That will actually be fun, but I hope to have some conversational contact here and there. We shall see. Bottom line - if I sense that she is happy, I know I will be. If I sense that she is upset or struggling with anything of real import, I am going to have a difficult time not stewing.

Bookworm - your comment about sensory overload makes much sense - they are experiencing all the stimulation and anxiety of a lot of big firsts without the familiar, familial support system. Plus, I am sure, they want to start to establish themselves as increasingly independent, capable and mature.

So, before she has even left, I am gearing up to very supportive, and positive and together about all of this. I am not sure I can carry it all off, but all of this advice and shared experience is really helpful. Thanks.

By Taichimd (Taichimd) on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 01:11 pm: Edit

Don't feel so bad if they don't call right away. They need time to meet kids and settle socially, and to feel more free. We got the call last night after 4-5 days, and he sounded great. He's making a lot of friends, likes his teachers, etc. I was astounded that he bought all of his books and had his homework schedule logged already!

By Fendergirl (Fendergirl) on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 02:36 pm: Edit

my parents and i basically communicate through IM. my mom sends me a message usually once a day or like once every other couple days. just saying stuff like Hey whats up or i see that you are away at sparts.. hope youre having fun.. stuff like that.. of course, she also does the same to my roommates, lol :) (i'm a senior now.. we've had this system going for a coupleyears haha)

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 02:56 pm: Edit

Fendergirl, my son and I are doing the same. Gives us little bits of contact throughout the day. He has the option of not responding if something else is going on. Somedays, we talk more than once, some not at all, but we're there.

By Megsdad (Megsdad) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 02:20 pm: Edit

Wellesley College...
McAfee Hall (August 31,2004) 6:00PM
The 3 of us are in the dorm room that has been set up and is ready to go. It is time for Mom and Dad to get in the car and start the 14 hour drive back home. Our daughter is due to leave for a dorm meeting. We have come to that dreaded moment we have known was coming, where we cross a line and begin the transition or rite of passage to young adulthood.
How do you say goodbye, for even a while, to a young lady who is our best friend?
Her Mother suggests the one thing that we know will be best for all of us....to pray together.
As we break apart all three are in tears. We slowly descend the staircase and embrace one last time.
I know different parents handle this in various ways, but for me this last time together will be a life-long memory. I am comforted in knowing she is safe, she is well-prepared, and she has a rock-solid foundation.

P.S.
Her Mother slips back up the steps and leaves a gift bag with Hershey hugs and kisses. On the card I write:

"As a Wellesley woman you are set to make a difference in the world, but you already have.... in our world!!!"

We love you,

Mom and Dad

By Musicalthtrmom (Musicalthtrmom) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 02:26 pm: Edit

As the mother of a current h.s. senior I have been reading all these messages with a heavy heart. I do not look forward to one year from now. Your post, Megsdad, finally made the tears fall. It's clear your daughter is a lucky girl. And I'm sure you and your wife feel luckier still.
Blessings on all of you moms and dads!


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