Saturday, August 05, 2006



33 Days

Orientation was yesterday at TP's college. The parents and students were divided into their respective groups, and the whole day was spent gathering information about what to expect from life as a college student and life as the parent of a college student. Practical issues were addressed, but the parents also had the option to listen to presenters speak about the emotional challenges our kids will be facing as they begin their college careers. While I know this kind of stuff theoretically, it's just so different when it applies to your very own child.

I felt the pit in my stomach begin to gnaw even deeper. I felt my tears well up in my eyes. I felt an overwhelming urge to bolt out the door, in hopes that I could somehow stop this from becoming a reality.

I know this is something I can GET through, but it's not something I necessarily want to GO through. I hate the thought of missing her like crazy when she's gone. I hate the thought of wondering how she's doing - is she eating properly, is she studying enough, is she making the right choices, is she safe?

This process of letting go is something we, as parents, start when our kids are first born. That first step, that first day at school, that first date - all of these are markers of their growing independence.

This process of letting go allows them to become persons with the ability to take care of themselves - emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually.

But this process of letting go is painful. It hurts me to the very core of my being. This is unchartered waters for me, as I face the days and nights without her safe and sound under my roof.

Mixed in all of this pain is an incredible sense of excitement for her. She's maturing so rapidly right now. She's making decisions which are reflective of her values and of great thought on her part - and not based on her feelings or peer pressure. I'm proud of her. And I am very, very confident in her ability to survive and thrive in her new environment. She will be challenged and she will challenge others. She will incorporate new ideas, and throw out some old ways of doing things.

In essence, she will become a woman. That will affect the nature of our relationship - and I think that is the part about which I am so uncertain. Will she find out that she can't stand me? Will she reject me and my way of life? Will she not need me anymore? Or, will our relationship grow deeper?

I have only 33 more days with her here at home. I'm planning to savor each and every day.

14 Comments:

At 12:07 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

Before you were conceived I wanted you
Before you were born I loved you
Before you were here an hour I would die for you
This is the miracle of life.

- Maureen Hawkins

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Ah, Kevin - so true, so true. That is a poignant quote - and one which describes exactly how I feel about my girls. Thank you.

 
At 9:15 AM, Blogger HeyJules said...

Val, I can't imagine what this feels like but seeing you go through it is giving me insight into what it must have been like for MY mom when I went away. And here I thought they'd be so excited to have one more kid out of the nest...

If you need anything in these next couple of months, you holler, you hear? Prayer or just to chat...bring it on. You're right when you said you don't want to GO through it but you're also right that you can GET through it. Just remember - we're all going through it with you - even in our own tiny way. TP is our girl, too and that's because you were generous enough to share her with us.

God bless...

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger Julana said...

What an exciting time. I really didn't think of it from my mother's point of view, back then, either. Time flies, doesn't it?

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger bigwhitehat said...

You're looking at this all wrong.

You should be thinking, "One down..."

 
At 6:24 PM, Blogger Humble Beginnings said...

My parents did a dance and then emptied out my room when I left for university... sigh!

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger Susan said...

I always felt that by the time they could smile at 6 to 8 weeks they were on their way to growing up and growing away.
It's hard, one of mine will be leaving the nest soon too, but they will always love us and need us in some way.
Delight in your daughter always, from what I have read she is lovely.

 
At 7:10 PM, Blogger Mrs. Diamond said...

awwww bless your heart dear mother

 
At 7:22 PM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Jules - all of you have been through so much with me already (what with TP's illness and DQ's experiences with racism), so I truly do appreciate your offer to help me once again. Yup, TP's "your girl", too!!!

Julana - My mom died when I was 14, so unfortunately, I wasn't able to even imagine what this would have been like for her. BTW, I haven't been able to access your site the past several days - it always comes back "cannot find server". Are you still blogging?

BWH - I think it's different for fathers, 'cuz that's exactly what my husband is thinking!

HB - I've already been given explicit instructions by TP that I'm not to touch anything in her room when she goes! She also doesn't want her sister in her room, at all. She's kinda territorial like that. . .

Susan - Thanks. She's a great kid. It seems like yesterday when we were driving home from the lawyer's office with her tucked safely in the car seat. It's gonna be a tough day!

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger Stacy said...

Oh Val, I wish I could understand. My son is still living in my basement, he won't leave!

Take care, God bless, she'll be fine. Just another chapter in life.

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger Paula said...

Oh no, this post makes me want to run. Run from the fact that Trumpet Boy is entering his Sophomore year of school. Why is mothering so painful? I need to remind myself that my pain pales in comparison to Jesus' mother Mary. A mother's love is like Kudzu, you can't kill it, right! I'm holding your cyber hand.

Love ya,

 
At 6:09 PM, Blogger Gina Burgess said...

She will find out that you are the smartest woman in the world. She will love you more than ever and she will treasure the values that you have instilled in her. And... you will become closer friends than ever before.

 
At 9:47 PM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Stacy: You have a knack of being able to put things in a different light - thanks!

Paula - I often think of Mary, and try to use her as a role model. I can't imagine the amount of pain which she went through. . .

Gina: I can only hope and pray that that is the case! Thanks - I'm sure it's true of you and your daughters.

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger JodiTucker said...

Wow! I am somewhere inbetween missing them (the older two) and the "two down, one to go" mentality. Just praying for them all often gives me great comfort in knowing their lives are His and they were "on loan" for a time to guide and nurture. We (the older two--in and almost out of college) are really more of an adult friendship and "consultation" relationship. I like it alot!!

 

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