“She, we gave her most of our lives.
Is leaving , sacrificed most of our lives.
Home, we gave her everything money could buy.”
(lyrics from She’s Leaving Home from Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles)
Talk about lifestyle changes. I just joined the ranks of parents who have had to drop their child off at college for the first time. It was tough, very tough…
You see, we have always been a unit; our family. A team of four heading off on vacations or out to dinner or out to a show. Heading off to college was always years away. You know, those years way off in the future when we would have plenty of money to pay those tuition bills. Yeah, right… Those years snuck up on us and grabbed us by the heartstrings before we were really prepared for it. But are you ever prepared to say goodbye to a child, even if you are losing them to academic endeavors?
It was traumatic for me, to say the least. Why was it so traumatic you say?
She was our first.
Our first born. Our angel. The first one we would see crawl, pull herself up to her feet, and take her first steps. The first to put the letters together on the magnetic chalk board and sound out the words. The first to stand on the corner with lunch box in hand, wearing the sweater Grandma crocheted for her, waiting for the first grade bus to take her away from the comfort and security of the only home she has ever known.
She was a joy to have around.
When you live with someone for so long I don’t think you have a true understanding of the effect that person has really had on your life. Until she leaves. My daughter loosened the family up. She had crazy dances and dialects that our family and her friends got to see on a regular basis. Basically she was fun…
We used to get to see her friends regularly.
Now that she is gone we don’t have the opportunity to see and talk with her friends who are also off to college for the first time. You see, my daughter had really good taste in friends. She was very particular in who her friends were and very discerning in choosing them. When you lose a child to college you’re also losing an extended family of her friends.
My youngest is heartbroken.
It’s not like they were best friends but my youngest child, who is four years younger, is heartbroken. The big sister was the one who would drive her from place to place. She was the one that my youngest would confide in when it came to personal matters. It’s tough to see your kids hurting and even tougher when you are too…
I know that I have written this post as if my daughter was in the past but I know better. What is in the past is our world as we knew it. We know that my eldest will be back every few months for holidays and breaks. It’s just that this is a transition that almost every parent goes through. I understand that. It just doesn’t make it any easier…