I wrote this about Grace six years ago today:
I just gave permission for my daughter to stay with relatives in another state for a school semester. That will make her visit a six-month trip. Man, I miss her. I will miss her more tomorrow, but the truth is that it will be a terrific experience for her, something I cannot duplicate here. She will have opportunities to see and do amazing things, visit wonderful new places, and meet a variety of interesting people. And putting up with my brother will likely make her appreciate me more.
The arrangement isn’t permanent, which is the only thing that makes it bearable, but the changes she will make will last all her life. I admit that it hurts a little that I can’t provide those things for her, that to gain that experience she has to be absent from our lives here. But that so often is the way it works: that’s just how it is. The selfish part of me wants her on the plane tomorrow, but the rest of me is excited about what will happen. I’m interested to meet the person she will become in the next five months.
Now she is packing for college, leaving more or less for good in just a few days.
We could not be happier or more excited for her, but we will miss, miss, miss her. She knows this will always be home, but she may not understand it will no longer be her home. Like us when we moved out the first time, she will be a beloved and welcomed guest, for sure, but a guest.
She’s been preparing for this her whole life, and she is eager for the adventure. She spends summers away every year, but this is her first time away from family. She knows no one where she’s going. She is understandably nervous, but excitement will win out, and she will excel.
Although I’ve known this was coming, and I know it is my job to help prepare her to leave home, now that it is here I’m still not ready. But let’s not tell Grace that.
Go Grace, go.