It has been two weeks since leaving my daughter at college, and I am wondering when the tears will stop.
Tonight on the phone, I told her that I couldn’t find a reasonably priced ticket home for the coming weekend and expected that she would roll with it. Instead, I had to keep speaking loudly into the earpiece. “Hello?” No answer. “HELLO!!!” I repeated. All I could hear on the other end was sniffling.
They say this is normal and that leaving home is a major adjustment. Unfortunately, I can’t give her any good advice.
Accepted into Bryant College in Rhode Island, I was told that I would have a one-year wait to get onto campus, so I went to live with my cousin and her family. By the time I had made it onto campus, my bags were packed and I had switched schools. I couldn’t do it. I went home.
The other kids on campus loved being away from home. They partied, went crazy, stayed up until all hours and bonded with the people in their rooms. It seemed like so much fun. On the other hand there was me. I was the one who who couldn’t stand people that partied until they puked. I couldn’t stand the fact that I could never sleep because it was so loud, and the fact that nothing was EVER clean.
I liked my room. I liked the comfort of my own home. I liked my space, and I really loved hanging with my mom. We were best friends. Thinking back, not staying at school and bonding with friends that I would keep in touch with for “life” is one of my biggest regrets. I wasn’t able to have sorority sisters, slumber parties, and stories that I would some day share with my kids.
My advice to my daughter was to stick it out and segment her time into smaller pieces. I encourage her to get a routine. I explained that she was a beautifully wrapped box that was empty inside and she needed to fill it with memories.
The good part was that she had a clean canvas and could choose to paint any picture she wanted. If she decided to use bright vibrant hues, she could. It was her choice.
The hardest part of being a parent is seeing your children in pain. I can run a full marathon three months pregnant, but I can’t handle the tears, knowing that I can’t make it better. There comes a point in our children’s life when we need to give up control over the wheel, knowing that our part of the journey is nearly complete.
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