My 2nd daughter is going off to college for the first time. We are packing her up and heading out early tomorrow a.m. She has the normal nervousness and excitement about going and I have the normal running around craziness of trying to help her remember everything she needs and making multiple trips to the pharmacy and grocery store.
My emotions are conflicted and bittersweet with memories of earlier years with simple days, family dinners, sharing of a heart broken over boys, excitement of an award won, sleepovers, birthday parties, milestones from walking to going to kindergarten, to driving, to turning 18! I am just flooded with memories and emotions and love for her and knowing that I did and am doing my job as a parent, preparing her to further her education and live her dream and go out in the world and be the light and contribute to society as an adult. Hurray! It is a celebration!,
I decided to write her a letter and sneak it into her dorm room when we leave, where she will find it when we are gone.
I picked up a book at the library that gave "helpful hints for college freshmen". So, I started writing and incorporating the helpful hints. After I read my letter, I realized it was not what I wanted to say, she will learn a lot of that on her own, I wanted to say how much I love her, how much I am proud of her, how much she has achieved so far and will achieve in her future because she is driven and motivated and smart and caring. I wanted to tell her to let down her loose curls a little bit and to have FUN!
I wanted to tell her that it is NOT the end of the world when she doesn't get an A on her first test, to go out and meet new people, no matter how awkward you feel, to know that it is ok to be nervous and to be homesick, and if she thinks everyone has it "together" but her, she is wrong. They are all nervous and excited and will get a little homesick.
I wanted to say that the house will be different without her. I will miss seeing her, after a long day at school and work,I will miss seeing her cuddled up on the couch with a pillow and a blanket and watching her snooze away for an hour. I will miss her leaving her dirty dishes on the table in the TV room, yes, I know they are her dishes, she is the only one who does it. I will miss seeing her room with piles of clean clothes on the floor and piles of dirty clothes on the floor. That's her. I will miss going out for ice cream when a boy has let her down. I will miss her calling me "mommy" when she is sad or really needs something.
So, I rewrote the love letter and said all of that and more.