I am about to drop my oldest daughter off at college tomorrow, and have been flooded with emotions about this big step in her life, and what it means. On the one hand, I am so happy for her. I remember my college years fondly and had so much fun. I really want the same for her– the full experience.
On the other hand, I can’t help but realize that the amount of time that I am able to spend with her will continue to decrease moving forward. She’s going to be starting her own journey and picking her own path– both of which I am losing control of. Wasn’t it my job to guide her?
Sure, I am so proud of her and all of her accomplishments, but in a lot of ways, it means that a large part of my job is ending. And I wonder if I did enough. Did I help her enough? Did I teach her enough? Have I done the right things? I really hope so, but can’t help but wish I had done this and that while second guessing some of my choices along the way.
It’s a shift in both of our identities too. As she becomes more independent, I become less needed. Even worse is the realization that my second daughter will be right behind her in a couple of years. I’ve been a single mother for fourteen years now. Who am I if not a mom?
I haven’t been just been a mom either. I’ve been an all-in, full blown helicopter mom. Maybe it was too much or maybe too little. At this point, I’m not able to change much. So, as I spend the day helping her pack up her stuff and trying to assist when and where I can, I will be so excited for her while being sad for myself and what I’m losing. I’m losing a member of my team and someone I’ve been in charge of since the day I took her home from the hospital. That’s a tough pill to swallow.
Stil, I want her to go out there and soak in the experience, having fun and making new friends along the way while heading towards a career that makes her happy and fulfilled. For me, it’s about letting go a little, not easy for any mom. The one thing that I am certain of, however, is that the future is bright for all three of us, albeit bittersweet.