First of all, I need to say thank you to my tribe who has sent messages, prayers and offers to bring my child things she may have forgotten as they are driving through her new college town. Man, you guys are awesome and have made this time in my life so much easier. For everyone else, if you don’t have friends like mine, get you some!
I don’t know why I didn’t expect the tears to linger. We have prayed for this day for two years. She worked hard to get the grades and the scholarships. Saved her money and worked all Summer long. And yesterday we dropped her off at her dream school so she could do great things. We wanted this.
So why am I so sad today? I find myself tearing up at the most random times.
We were so busy all Summer long with the shopping and the planning and a little global pandemic. We finally had a high school graduation ceremony and I barely cried then. Maybe because it was just such a relief to actually get to have one, it was more joyful than tearful. I just didn’t expect to feel so…strange today. It’s an emptiness. Truly as if I left part of my own soul on that college campus.
Isn’t that what parenting is? You pour your whole life into someone else. You dream with them and want what they want. You encourage and love them when no one else will. So, it does seem strange when suddenly everything you’ve done for the entirety of a person’s life changes.
This is the uncharted part and it seems a little scary. I can do scraped knees, name-calling peers, and disappointments about her part in school plays. I can hug that out and make favorite dinners like crazy. I’ve been perfecting that strategy for 18 years. So, maybe it’s a loss of control that I am grappling with. I dunno. Like I said, uncharted.
I don’t know how to not juggle her crazy schedule, or not set her place at the table. I don’t know how to not expect to hear her car driving up the street, or not buy her favorite things at the store. I don’t know how to let her do life without me there.
So, I am just going to try to do what I hope my now college kid will do, and that is to trust God. Those two little words are so easy to say, but so much harder to put into practice. College is hard and life is harder. But there isn’t a single day or moment among all of it that isn’t held firm and secure by our Creator and Father of everything good. Growing is good. Life is good. And I know that my daughter trusted her’s a long time ago to Jesus. He loves her more than I do, which I have a hard time understanding because I just wanna squeeze her so tight and never let go! But that would mean she could never fly and do what she was meant to do.
I’m just gonna be kind to myself. I’m gonna let myself cry at the turning page, but look forward to seeing what the next chapter holds. Because, if the last one hadn’t been so awesome, I wouldn’t be grieving it’s loss. And I know that because God has been so faithful in the past, He’s gonna rock my socks off in the future.