Over the next 2 weeks college students everywhere will be moving back to college. This is a time when parents become emotional, especially if this is the first separation from their student. I see that this is especially hard for mothers in my practice. I happen to be going through this myself.
At the end of this week, I will be helping my daughter settle into her college in TX. She is transfer student, so we have done this before, however the added distance makes this move feel as difficult as the first time. The anticipation of our trip on Friday has been the cause of, at least a dozen, tearful outbursts for me. The thought that she might need me and that she is going into a situation where she knows no one, with the exception of her advisor, whom she met when we visited last November, makes my heart ache.
My girlfriend, who makes me smile, even on my most challenging days, said to me while I sobbed out loud, “Lisa, if you think with the smart side of your brain, you know that she will be home for Thanksgiving, just like she was when she went to school in Pennsylvania.” She is right. Not much has changed, other than the mode of transportation. We are still four hours apart, only this time with the addition a TSA checkpoint.
What I know about my daughter is that she is capable of whatever she wants to accomplish. I have done my best to prepare her for her independence, and she has risen to every challenge life has given her. She is a strong young woman and she has a vision of what she is working toward in her future. Her decision to go to Texas is another step toward her independence. I am grateful that she wants her independence! (Think for a moment about that!) Knowing all of this makes me smile through my tears because I know I have raised a fine young woman.
To all the parents I share this experience with, take a deep breath and try to remember that you have done your job to prepare your student for this moment. I wish you all a reason to smile through your tears and hope you have an ample supply of Kleenex. This is the natural progression of parenting, and although painful for so many of us, it is ultimately what we want for our children. This will be their biggest opportunity for growth yet, and when they come home after completing their first semester, you will proudly begin to witness the metamorphosis of your child, as they become interesting dinner guests, perhaps for the first time. Hugs to all as you embark on this journey with your children.
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