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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Send-Off to College

I have a friend whose daughter headed off to college a couple of weeks ago.  This is the type of daughter that would be anyone’s dream:  very smart, particularly in the sciences, sweet, beautiful, well-mannered, speaking a few languages, well-groomed, outgoing—need I say more?  So, parting ways was not all that easy even with a great kid and a top school.

Moi, a month ago:  “How’s it going?”

Her mother:  “Well, we found out more about the roommate Sarah’s been assigned.  The other young lady is part of a radical lesbian group, so we’re not sure how that’s going to work….”

Moi:   “How does Sarah feel about it?”

Her mother:  “She’s not extremely concerned, but would prefer that the dorm room be a place of tranquility, rather than full of politically-charged discussions.  The school has the students draw up a contract where they state their expectations for when would be quiet times, what would be acceptable in terms of visitors, what type of furnishings or equipment each one is going to bring….”

Moi:  “That sounds really smart.  Are they on the same page?”

Her mother:  “For the most part, yes.  They both sound like they’re very studious, and that’s a relief.”

Fast-forward two weeks later to another of our conversations.

Moi:  “How’s it going?”

Her mother:  “I went there.”

Moi:   “Oh, good for you.  It’s only, what, two, three hours away?  We’re often in the area and the drive is really not bad, is it?”

Her mother:   “No, not bad at all.  I thought the traffic would be terrible, but ended up arriving way ahead of our set time to meet.  Her computer hard drive died, so we swapped computers.  Hers is under warranty, but who knows how long it will take to get fixed if we have to send it away….  I felt like her Resident Assistant resented my appearance, though.”

Moi:    “Why is that?”

Her mother:    “It seemed like the R.A. was babysitting me and trying to get me to leave.  Do you think it’s a bad idea to visit Sarah, or should I just say goodbye and see her at the holidays?”

Moi:    “No, no, no” (says moi with absolutely no experience in sending kids off to college or even off to the local public school for 6-8 hours a day, but who would never draw back from offering anyone, anywhere, advice, whether solicited or not).  “Why not visit her?  You can meet at a café, instead of her dorm if it’s a bother for the R.A.  Go see her once a month or so.”

Her mother:   “Do you think?  I don’t want to stifle her.  I know she’ll be very busy with all of her intensive science courses, but we feel very connected.  We chat every day by Internet, which also seems to work….”

Moi:    “Are you kidding?  You are the very picture of restraint.  Restraint, I say.  If it were me, I’d be there taking classes at the same time-!  I’d be hiding in the bushes, watching their every move-!  I’d be making extra sandwiches for lunch-!”

Her mother:    (Laughing and patting my arm)  “I’m glad you said that, I thought I was the only one.  Sarah’s very responsible, but maybe she’ll need to talk with me and I want to be available.  I mean, I’m not removing any furniture from her bedroom at home, or anything.”

This is a dear lady, concerned about her changing role with her daughter.  Sigh.  I guess it’s what we all to look forward to.  Maybe because I’ve adopted, I’m not looking forward to that day.  I want mine to live at home and go to a nearby school.  Or, go to college online.  Or, maybe the economy will turn around and I’ll buy a little house or apartment near another school of their choice, where they might live… and where I might visit, lol.  I feel like I’ve had so few years of delicious and delightful togetherness….

But spread their wings they must.  Eventually.  At some point.  When we’re all ready for it.

Maybe when they’re 45.

Meanwhile, I’ll help my sisters in the struggle, and maybe visit Sarah the next time I’m in the vicinity, lol.

How do you feel about your kids (already, or one day) going away?



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6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Sybil says:

    I was incensed to read that the RA made the Mom feel uncomfortable and she felt she was pushing her to leave. How did that RA suddenly become Sarah’s Mother? For one thing, Sarah’s Mom came because of a computer problem Sarah was having but even that was not the RA’s business. People forget that anywhere from 18-21 is what is called a “young adult”. YOUNG adult. Whatever and whenever your child needs you, if you aren’t there for them, I say shame on you. I think there are few kids that away to college that want or need a parent there on a regular basis or they wouldn’t have gone away. So, if a parent does go for any reason it is not the business of anyone but the student and the parents. When our older children went away to college we talked to them a lot even if it was a quick, “hi, I’m thinking about you.” Our youngest has chosen to do her general education at a local college and says she is not ready to go away yet and will probably be ready when she is in her last couple of years of college.

  2. avatar Greg says:

    Just dropped our first (a boy) off at college three weeks ago. It is an hour and a half drive away. We feel like there is a really empty spot (physically and emotionally) in our household but we are slowly adjusting. Next in line are our two 16 year old girls….three short years away. From experience, the time goes by too quickly. Dropping off the girls will be much tougher. As a dad, I’m not too worried about our son. I will be worried sick about the girls.

    • avatar admin says:

      Think “online college”, Greg-! 🙂 It’s hard. I guess if they never took the first steps, they would never be able to make their path in life. In the grand scheme of things, we should be happy that our kids can go to college, period. Probably the next thing would be to choose schools wisely. How are the girls adjusting to big brother leaving for college?

      • avatar Greg says:

        The adjustment for our bio-daughter has been tough. She misses not having him around. Our adopted daughter on the other hand likes him gone since she now has one less person to compete with for mom’s attention! 🙂

        • avatar admin says:

          I hear you, Greg. It’s very similar in many households. I was just commiserating with another adoptive mom that when one child does well… the other falls apart, etc. It’s an old orphanage behavior where the kids needed to compete for food, time, attention, privileges, you name it. So it really does make sense that your daughter doesn’t miss him all that much, and it’s nothing personal, simply eliminating the competition, lol. Ours are little by little becoming more secure in who they are, but it really does take a lot of time and reassuring again and again….

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