Letting Go

Today I had to let go of another piece of my oldest daughter. Her sweet face has been 18 now about 4 months. I can’t say that I enjoy the letting go part so much, letting go of her and her childhood. It wasn’t easy with my son 2 years ago so I am not sure why I thought this time would be easier.

Today after her afternoon class she got in a car with her boyfriend and drove three hours from home. They are off to see a concert. I envy them a little. Both in college, chasing their dreams, experiencing life. I hope they both take the time to soak in the experiences and save them for a later memory to share when they are older. Something perhaps their own children will envy a little as well.

I let her go and then sat at work distracted by the fact that she was traveling through a mountain pass that could at any moment become covered in snow. Like a good daughter she let me know when she arrived at their first stop. I felt they arrived a little early by my calculations. She promised they were not speeding and their seat belts were securely fastened. A couple of hours later they arrived at their destination and that was the last I heard from her.

So now any time I have a moment of quiet time I think of all the awful things she could be doing that might damage her future. At one point she mentioned they were invited to a frat party. Oh how I hope she avoids that situation at all costs. Her best friend lives on campus as does her boyfriend’s best friend, who is actually the one who invited them to the frat party.

I consider myself optimistic. Unfortunately for me I always think the worst first. I haven’t heard from my daughter in about 5 hours so

  • a. she must have been in a car accident
  • b. she fell down a flight of stairs and is unresponsive
  • c. she lost her cell phone and no longer has my number.

At some point reality settles back in and I know that

  • a. she is 3 hours from home with her boyfriend and best friend
  • b. they would call me if something was wrong
  • c. she has had her goals for life set since 1st grade, she isn’t going to lose sight of them now.

Letting go for me has not been easy. Letting go of the sweet child, the soulful teenager and the productive young adult leaves me with an empty space in my life. A space that I am filling with the things I enjoy and some of the things I had given up so I could be the best parent I could be. I am settling into my new role with my oldest two children. Learning the ropes of our new relationships. I am also enjoying watching them lead their own lives just the way they want to without anyone else telling them what to do. Letting go is definitely bittersweet.



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