Friday, August 16, 2013

On Losing a Daughter . . . . to College

It should be easier, to send child number two to college. Reverse separation anxiety, child leaving parents, not vice versa. This should have worked itself out of my system, shouldn’t it?
            I should rejoice that she is departing for her life’s grand adventure, especially since she wasn’t the easiest child to parent. There was sass, a season of dishonesty. A lack of enthusiasm for chores, a regular pile of clothing to press. Much chauffeuring.
            And yet, she’s not just my daughter; she’s my friend. She adores art and music and fashion and theater. Me too. We can talk for hours on those things or the mysteries of human behavior. I enjoy her. I can’t imagine her not here.
Half a lifetime ago I didn’t even think I wanted children, maybe not even a husband. I thought I was New York City-bound, an advertising executive to be. Surely someone would pay me scads of money upon graduation, based on my cleverness and lively personality.
            I was wrong. As they say, first comes love, then comes marriage (Who wouldn’t marry their best friend if the best friend asked?), then comes the pushing of the baby carriage.
            Children were never my plan. I figured I could talk the husband, who wanted six babies, out of his madness. Instead I found myself consenting to have one, just one, “for you.” I wonder if he was devastated by that word: one. Or did he know there’d be no way I could stop there?
I try to imagine life with only the boy child here. The money we were paying for her voice lessons can go into his college fund. I won’t have to buy tiny tubs of hummus for her lunches. There will be no more driving her six blocks down the hill to high school at seven in the morning because, “I’m wearing heels, Madre.”
            There won’t be any more sitting beside her at the kitchen table as she methodically dices avocados, bell peppers, and onions, cilantro and jalapenos for her fabulous guacamole. No more trips to the consignment shop where she tells me I bring her luck. No more listening to her belt, “I Dreamed a Dream” over and over in the shower for thirty minutes or more.
            When a child leaves home, life may become easier, but it will also be harder.



Oh I so agree. Better, easier and much harder. Our youngest stayed at home her four years in college and we loved it. WE also so hated when she got married and left us high and dry, to watch General Hospital on our own. Yes, we all three hubby and all watched, him swearing he was not watching but what was that Sonny and Jason doing anyway?
I know how you feel, what you are feeling, It's a baby step toward better things for both her and you. Hang in. Hope she comes home a lot. She will, I bet, bringing her laundry and her friends. Hugs for this new phase in your life. More stories abound!! Hugs, Barb

Eadie Camp said...

From my heart to your said it all...and with beautiful finesse.

writingdianet said...

Thanks, girlfriends. With two out of three baby chicks gone, I am very thankful the boychild has FIVE more years at home:()

Optimistic Existentialist said...

What a wonderful post dedicated to what sounds like a wonderful young woman. What's she majoring in?

writingdianet said...

Psychology with an eye toward forensics, Keith.

Tony said...

Oh my, we are soooo close!!:(


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