The Big Sigh

It is 11:00 pm and we are leaving the small college town where our daughter will be spending the next four (4) years. The bed is made, the pictures are hung, the curtains are up, the clothes put away and the desk is set-up. We have a good feeling about this decision. We linked arms with so many people on our community (family, friends, teachers, clergy, youth organizations, clubs, therapists and more) to raise our three (3) children. We can honestly say it has taken a village. We are eternally grateful for everyone’s support in getting us to this day.

Many of our friends are faced with this situation – some have delayed college; some have taken a gap year, and some are plowing forward like us.

What advice to you give your 18-year-old child when you leave them with strangers to live with, in a place they now are to call home and in the middle of lingering worldwide virus?

In our house, we refuse to live in fear and must trust that we are solid in our ability to make good decisions.

Will the decisions always be right? I believe not, but we are willing to take that chance. We have spent the last 5 months learning about the do’s and don’ts, improving our awareness of best practices, and discussing what makes sense for us. Was it easy? No. We have come to realize that we must move forward with caution and awareness.

What is next for us? We are “Empty Nesters” for the first time in 28 years.

We do not have any advice. We are taking a “Big Sigh” and doing our best to make each day enjoyable - no big plans, no big purchases, only a deep exhale. As time passes, some of this will change, but for now we are grateful for each day our child is able to stay in her new home and find joy in her life, make new friends and explore what she loves about learning. She is ready, more than capable and has Amazon, Instacart and gosh knows what other apps if anything should be missing.

My wish for each parent reading this post is that you too can enjoy each day knowing that you have invested your heart and soul into your child now it’s time to see how they fly.

With love,

Alison

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