Well it finally happened. Last Friday I had to let my little girl go off to college or should I say we had to drop my little girl off at college. I did pretty good or at least I thought I did good for me!
We had a nice easy drive of about 50-55 minutes to the western part of the state with our Dunkin Donuts in hand because around here, “You can’t do anything without Dunkins!” As we approached I started to get butterflies because I kept thinking, this is it, or this is the beginning, you decide. We followed their maze to check-in which if you have about 4500 college students moving in together a maze of cones and streamlined check-in away from dorms is the way to go.
Anyway it went so fast. All of sudden we were unloading the car, carrying things (with the help of volunteers) up 7 flights of stairs (nothing but the penthouse for my kid!), and then setting up her room. Then we were off to buy her books (good thing her major is dance so we spent less than $200). After a quick dinner, it was time. The time that I kept putting off but knew it would have to come.
The butterflies of earlier came back, the fears of leaving her at college began to overwhelm, but I knew with confidence she would be fine. We said our “Goodbyes” and took the last pic and drove away. That is when it began… the tears. Hey, I made it out of the college driveway before they started but they started. I was beginning to finally let go or have I really been letting go all these years and now the reality of it set in.
I think you start letting go once kids can do things on their own. You let go of doing it for them, although there were times that it would have been easier to just do it for them! You start letting go when they go to school and look back over their shoulder and smile and their little wave. You are letting go when they spend the night at their friend’s house, go to summer camp, or spend a week with their grandparents. These moments give you a glimpse of what the future might be (albeit a short lived one because it is usually only a week at a time). You are letting go when you see them come out on stage all by themselves and dance their little hearts out always leaving you breathless and overwhelmed that you produced that beautiful being on stage. You start letting go when they begin to drive and finally pass their driving test and then they are driving themselves everywhere with no help from mom or dad (well except for filling the gas tank). You are letting go when they go out on a date or stay out late with friends and make it home before their curfew (which better happen if they know what is good for them!).
So I guess I didn’t really let go for the first but it might have been the final realization that I no longer have control. I have worked hard for 19 years on this project of creating a wonderful human being with morals, values, independence and many other incredible attributes who I am proud to say “I have no control over”. She is a force to be reckoned with and will do well at everything she puts her mind too. I now need to focus on what/who I am without her daily presence in my life. Maybe that is the other part of letting go…the new creation of me. Maybe that is what I’m scared of. For 19 years I been identified as her mother, I had friends and acquaintances through her and because of her. Now it’s time to really do this on my own. Well this outta be fun……….