6 years ago I took my teenage daughter to college for the first time. No one told me how I would grieve when she was gone.
Then again in all fairness, I couldn’t wait for her to leave so I wouldn’t have believed them.
Her senior year was rough. Actually, her high school years were rough.
She graduated on a Friday evening and I had a plane ticket with her name on it for Saturday morning. She was heading from El Paso, TX to Connecticut to say with her biological father for the summer. The plan was that he would take her to college.
That plan quickly went awry, as most of those plans do. I booked a plane trip for the 3 littles (the youngest was 5 months old) and me and off we went to save the day. The Man even flew in for the weekend.
I rented a minivan, loaded it up and drove to Oswego, NY from Branford, CT. My mother and step-father followed, just for good measure.
When we arrived, we discovered that the oldest was a day early. She would be one of the only ones on her floor.
Humph. Now what? My husband had a plane to catch the next day and we couldn’t stay overnight.
The decision was made that she would be fine and we were to leave.
She was ready for us to leave. There were 4 adults and 3 littles plus her in her dorm room. And 3 of the adults had lots of opinions on how to set this up or move that around, etc. I am sure you can picture it.
We all piled back in our cars and headed out. She had a cell phone. She could call if she needed to chat, I reasoned.
I can’t tell you how hard it was to pull away. My heart was breaking. The Man asked if I was okay. I waved his question off because I couldn’t speak. I was bereft.
I had raised my oldest to do just what she was doing, go to college, but it was painful to say good-bye. I wish I had known how hard it would be. I was sad beyond measure.
I wasn’t so sad after we sad good-bye over Thanksgiving though. 5 days reminded me why it was time for her to fly the coop.
Have you sent your kids off to college yet? How did it go?