Today is a right of passage, as much for the parents as the child.
Beth is moving out today. I drove down from Gainesville last night and we’re moving Beth’s stuff out of the home we made at Christy and Mike’s big house in Orlando (my sister and brother-in-law), across town to her dorm on campus at UCF.
Jesus, is it THAT day already?
I have a number of colorful metaphors swirling around in my head, but this is a family web site so I’ll spare you. A number of cliches, tropes, and banal phrases accompany these metaphors, but they seem WAY more profound than they did even a day ago. I might have explored some of these feelings in this post, but I’m suddenly pressed for time. As Beth might say, “I’m, like, LITERALLY minutes away from needing to get ready to go.”
Alright, maybe just a couple, to sate appetite for schmaltz. My oldest child… for many years my only child… is striking out on her own today. She’s leaving the nest. The daily interactions with my child we can easily take for granted – morning and evening routines, etc – are at an end (for the foreseeable future). I will still have some impact/influence on her life, but in some ways my job is done. No, it will never be done. I’m not that naive. But it suddenly seems overwhelming – it seems there are so many ways in which we either did our jobs as parents or didn’t, and this is the beginning of our Final Exam. Will she be prepared or won’t she? Dear Lord, I hope we did enough.
I hope she’s ready.
I hope she’ll be happy.
It’s never FINAL exam. She still needs you and will continue to learn from you. Your relationship will go through some interesting and wonderful changes over the next few years. It’s all good. I’ve got one boomerang adult kid who is back home and back at school. The other calls (or texts) regularly and asks for my thoughts or with questions. One of the (to me) funniest ones was: “do you know where my flashlight is?” That was one of the first after he left home. Made me laugh and let me know I was still needed and he’d still reach out. That said, it’s a tough time for a parent when your child moves away. I really feel for you as I’ve been there too.