That said, we dropped our daughter off for her second year of college at a new college and so there are aspects of it that feel very similar to Year One.
Last year, I felt such a loss of energy in my life during those first few days back home after leaving her in Madison. This year, my energy is being channeled into one thought: I hope this is an amazing experience for her.
Don’t get me wrong, I still feel a sadness. The day before we took her down to Northfield, she and I were driving to Target to pick up some last minute things and Only You by Yaz came on my Sirius XM radio. As Aidan started to belt it out along with Alison Moyet, I started to cry behind my thankfully dark Ray Bans. You see, this is one of those mother-daughter songs. Something from my late teens that I am able to share with her in her late teens. We’ve been singing it together for years. We pulled into the parking lot and she turned to me and said, “Mom? Is your chin sweating?”
The cry was revealed and Aidan’s reaction was kind of awesome. She said, “Ohhh, Mom… NOOOOO! No, you don’t need to do that!” It wasn’t an embarrassed teen reaction. It was a young woman saying, “Mom, I got this. We’ve got this.”
For that, sweet girl, I am so very grateful.
It’s hard to let them go. It is. It’s hard not to worry. Will she find her place in a smaller collegiate community? Will she make the friends of a lifetime? Will she find fulfillment? Will she find joy?
These are the things we want for them. These are the things we can’t actually provide for them as they become adults.
This is part of growing up.
Her leaving is not the only shift that occurs because the family dynamic does change. Now it’s me and Dan and Cole. How do all of those relationships change and grow? What will our challenges be as we adjust?
Life is nothing if not dynamic.
Here’s to the day at hand in this next chapter.