This is so different from last year.
Last year my oldest child, my son, made the decision to go to college 11 hours from home. I tried so very hard in those last few months to be present and soak of the "lasts". The last prom. The last tennis tournament. The last awards ceremony. You know, the lasts....
(read the teary eyed blog about that here first going to college )
Fast forward to exactly one year later and I am at the same crossroads with my daughter.
However, this feels completely different. Don't get me wrong, I am still sad, but it is a different sad. The sad I felt with my son was a soul wrenching what I thought would be a disconnect of parent and child. It was the abyss of the unknown. I believed everything that we were together was being left behind, but what I really found was that it was just fear. The truth was nothing was left behind, but instead our relationship was built up and stronger than before.
So this time it feels different. It is more exciting than scary. Instead of counting down the days, I am witnessing my daughter grow into the woman I always knew was inside. I am busy reveling in all she is and her beautiful transformation into the comfort of being herself.
The little girl who was so shy hiding behind my legs when strangers would speak with me
The preteen that hauled herself in her room and would not come out until necessary
The teen that gave me such a hard time with cleaning her room
Is now the 18 year old woman that I hear saying things I have taught her that I never thought she heard, or cared or believed...
Things like :
The world does not revolve around me there are other points of view to consider
It's much easier to be kind
I am not eating sugar too much, it just isn't good for me.
Not only do I hear her, but I see her...
Her stubborn streak has softened into a warrior's strength.
Her quick attitude has become the ability to set boundaries with others.
Her sharp tounge has transmuted to hesitation, then words of kindness
Her uncertainty has evolved into a knowing of what feeds her soul.
Her limited communication has become nightly mother/daughter download sessions where we share, laugh and giggle at the day's events.
This middle child, who I thought may have been a little lost in her sibling line-up, came though the high school years like a champ. She started slow, but gained speed and momentum as the 4 years moved quickly forward. Today, her smile dances and her heart fills a room. She is happy. Not because she is graduating, but because she is herself. She likes who she is and who she is becoming. And being a witness to that is breathtaking.
I may be counting the lasts with her, but not as a scary reminder of time left before she leaves for college, but more an experience together that we will cherish and build upon. I cannot wait to bring her to move into her dorm room. It is her time. I am sure I will shed some tears as my mind recalls that little girl doing cartwheels in the front yard, but I will leave knowing how very prepared she is for this next chapter in her life. Love you Kate.
To all the parents who are getting ready to let go and have their kids
take flight this year... know, truly know they have been listening. Remember back to the first day of kindergarten with them? You cried because it was a letting go. You adjusted to the new norm in your home and were greeted with incredible growth and stories from their day at grammar school. This is the same, they are just a little older and a little wiser. You will adjust to the new norm in the family and be greeted by your beautiful adult child on their first break from college. The love and laughter continues and evolves. It is a beautiful process.
Lucie Dickenson is successfully procastinating finding a publisher for her first novel, but hoping this silly behavior ends soon so she can share her words, experience and thoughts about grief A wife and mom to three unique teenagers, she is a thriving and internationally recognized writer, energy healing and anxiety coach, with 25 years experience in training and business. Her passion is helping others to truly understand that their life stories hold the key to healing and connecting with others.
Certified EFT/Tapping Coach/Muscle testing Creator of the 3-Steps to Freedom Method