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Off to College

By on Aug 16, 2009 in Guest Bloggers | 1 comment

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My dear friend Renee is facing her first born headed off to college.  Here are some of her thoughts, in her own words.  Dear reader, can you relate?:

My oldest daughter has been talking about how much she wants to leave home since she was in the third grade.  She is both blessed and cursed with her mother’s sense of independence and stubbornness, so it has never been shocking to hear her say how she can’t wait to live on her own terms. 

Years fly by and now I have only 8 more days to teach my daughter everything I want her to know (despite her resistance) before I leave her in a dorm room 250 miles away from home.

I have been so excited about her leaving because I know she is SO ready and eager.  I know some of the best years of her life (to date) are waiting just a week away for her.  I’m thrilled for her to start this next exciting and challenging chapter in her life.  Only today did I give any pause to how it feels to ME about her leaving. 

It is hard to reconcile the feelings of having been responsible for her every moment for the last 18 years and then, BOOM, all in one day she’s completely out of my sight. That finely honed sonar that we mothers have faithfully kept alert every single day of her life must somehow, quickly, carefully be turned down to a allow her to grow into an independent adult.  I’m new at this and not sure how it works.  But, I am sure that it is better for all if I don’t roll around in thoughts about her leaving home too much for the next 8 days.  If the Mother-Antelope appears weak, the Daughter-Tiger may attack it!

Looking ahead I know I’m entering the ranks of mothers who wish their child will call them.  Silently worrying, hoping for the best, and secretly delighted to learn that she misses me – this is my future.  Eighteen years ago I brought a tiny baby home from the hospital and now a beautiful woman is eager to leave in 8 more days.

Renee Bauer Soffer

1 Comment

  1. Maria Kight

    August 31, 2009

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    It’s been ten years since my daughter left for the Univ. of Miami in Coral Gables FL. We helped her pack up my old car with a small dorm fridge, our old microwave, new sheets and bedding for her dorm room etc. She would be driving to Miami by herself-her choice. We respected her wishes. We saw her off and I held it together till she turned the corner and was out of sight. Tears flowed freely and I had several bouts of sadness during the next few days. I hung around the phone and awaited her call telling us where she was spending the night. She kept her promise and called upon her arrival.
    My daughter has always been very independent but I noticed she called home frequently the first few weeks. Sometimes it seemed she was making an excuse to call. That was fine, I think she needed to hear my voice and I truly needed to hear hers yet neither of us said “I miss you”.
    I couldn’t wait for Winter break. She arrived home and I can honestly say I was happy to see her but just as happy to see her return to school. Although she came home for summer and during breaks, she’s never lived with us again. It’s been 10 years and we still are in touch almost daily. She’s grown into a self sufficient woman and I’m glad I was able to let go and allow her the space to become a responsible adult.
    Letting go is probably one of the hardest things a mother has to do. Good luck to all of you going through it. 🙂

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