College Bound….

Only 10 more days – 10 more days until I have to get in the car and drive my daughter to her new life as a college freshman.

I have been keeping myself busy getting her ready to go.  It’s amazing how much stuff you need when you leave home.  All that stuff you share with your sister that you now need for your own  – blow dryer, straight iron, makeup, shoes, clothes, computer, etc. Tessa is very concerned that half her wardrobe is going to college!

I have a growing pile of “college stuff” in my bedroom – hoping it will all fit into the car.

I don’t know why this is so hard for me – Cali is not my first child to go off to college.  I have sent two boys off to college.  In addition,  I have sent both boys off to foreign countries for two years as they served missions for our church.  (That was HARD!)  During those two years I only talked with them four times! (Christmas and Mother’s Day)

So you would think that the third time of sending a child off to college, only a few states away, would be easier.  Especially since I can talk to her anytime I want, text message her, email her, leave her messages on her facebook wall,  keep connected through our family blog and even see her via our computer webcam - but it’s not.

Maybe it’s because she is my first daughter to leave home.

Maybe it’s because it means that more than half of my children have now left home.

Maybe it’s because I know that things are never the same once they leave home.

Maybe it’s because I will now only have one child at home – for only 3 more years (don’t even get me started on that one!).

Maybe it’s because it makes me feel old.

Don’t get me wrong – I am so excited for her.  She is going to my alma mater, my husband’s alma mater.  She will be at the same school with both of her older brothers.  She is going to have so much fun!

But I am going to miss her.  I miss my whole family being together – eating together, playing together and yes, even arguing together.

As I was working at my computer the other day I looked out my back door and saw this little tree frog.

He was hanging on …

DSC_3774

I feel a little bit like that frog – just hanging on.

I know I will survive this – I have before but tears still fill my eyes everytime I think about her leaving, they fill my eyes as I am writing this post.

In the hopes of easing my pain a bit we have planned a Girl’s Road Trip to take Cali to school.  I am loading up my Suburban with woman I love – both of my daughters, my mother, my neighbor and friend Debbie and her daughter Hannah who has been best friends with Cali since they were four!

If nothing else I will have a lot of shoulders to cry on on the way home!

So for those of you who have been through this before too – any words of wisdom for me?

Comments

  1. Kristi says

    I am afraid I have no words of wisdom as I have not been there yet. But I’m going there next year and I already get teary thinking about it. I only have one child and we are so close. It’s going to be hard!

    I DO think you are right in bringing your support group with you and I pray for you that all those women will provide you with great comfort.

  2. says

    I don’t have any words of wisdom b/c I’m crying along with you:) My oldest turns 12 on Friday and was “kidnapped” from primary to go to YW yesterday. I know the bittersweet feeling to an extent….happy for her that she’s so strong and has beautiful experiences ahead, but sad that the “childhood” chapter is closed.
    Your post was beautiful. I’ll remember to cherish our together time all the more before my chicks start leaving the nest.
    Have a great road trip! My niece will be a freshman at BYU too…I’ll have to ask my sis what dorm she’ll be in.
    Best wishes!

  3. says

    No, but again you make me grateful that my children are 7 and 5. I don’t have to face this for 11 more years, thank goodness!
    We’ll be here when you have to say goodbye.
    Tina

  4. says

    My oldest is only 6, so I can’t help with advice. But I DO remember when I had MY first week at BYU 12 years ago… And I SO appreciated the years that my mom came with me to help me get set up and off to the right start! My first year I stayed at Helaman Halls in the Chipman building. My 2nd year I stayed in an apartment complex called Centennial. My 3rd & 4th years I was married and stayed at Wymount! Fun memories! My youngest brother Stephen is also at the Y right now… not sure where he is staying,though. How long will you get to stay in Utah this time, Leigh Anne? I would love to meet you in person someday on one of your trips here to Utah, but I can imagine that you will be pretty busy helping Cali get ready this time. Let me know if there is ever a day when Cali has an orientation or something when I can come down and see you for lunch or something. I live about 45 minutes from Provo so it is not far.

  5. says

    Hi Leigh Anne:

    I had tears reading your blog….. It will get even better…. She will soon have even for gratitude for you and all you have done for her…. You will be soon adding more people to your home…. You will increase who is in your life….. I always say…. The little ones take lots of little minutes….. The older ones take less little minutes but more large hours of your time that are less frequent than the little ones minutes.….. You will get more quality time and more times that will have even more memories to celebrate.. Enjoy your time with your little one that is still at home…. She is getting you by yourself for the first time…. She will need your more now than ever before….

    You are going into a new season of your life…. But, trust me the season is even better than the old one…

    Love and hugs

    Marilyn

  6. Jessica A says

    Your post had me in tears! It seems like only yesterday my mom took me off to college. I remember her sitting in the auditorium at the freshman orientation and they had a video showing pictures of children as they grew up to Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young.” I looked over at my mom and she was totally crying. At the time I was young and naive and didn’t understand why she was crying?? I’m a mom now (ages 5 and 9) and I get sad just thinking about the day that they go off to college. I can’t really offer any words of advice, but enjoy these next 10 days with your daughter :)

  7. LuAnne says

    I have to tell you that it does get a little easier, but
    never really goes away. I still have seperation anxiety everytime our only son/child leaves after a visit. I have to say he does not suffer from same problem after a visit. This actually makes me feel very proud that he wants to face the world on his own.
    I guess that is what you have to remember as they leave the nest; you have given your child the very best guidance, and tools to step out into the world and you must trust that everything will be fine. Now we finally understand what our parents went through with us.

  8. Emily Wilkes says

    Ok so my situation isn’t quite as bad but I agree with you! Jacky will start kindergarten and just the thought of it brings me to tears. Thank you for sharing. I enjoy knowing that I am not the only mom who does NOT look forward to school starting again each year. You will have a friend to cry with here in Orem. I’ll cry all the way to Tai Pan with you! Love you!!!

  9. says

    I can tell you, from the daughter’s perspective, the days before I left for my freshman year of college were hard for my mom and me. I was the last child to go off to college and mom’s only girl was finally leaving home. And I was only going 4 hours away – 1 state away!

    That drive to school was the hardest in the car because neither of us wanted to admit how much we’d miss seeing one another every day. We are incredibly close and share a very special bond – quiet different from what she has with my brothers.

    I think it’s different when a daughter leaves home – I think mom’s protect them and have such a special place for them in their hearts even if they have sons too – it’s just different.

    I can give you one word of advice – well two actually –
    1. When you go to part ways once she’s moved in just hold her really tight and tell her how proud of her you are. I still remember that hug to this day from my mom.

    2. Explain to her that when she calls you when she’s upset at school or sad, that she also needs to call you later that day when she’s happy again. I went down to dinner one night my junior year so sad and upset and sat with one of our faculty fellows at supper. By the time dinner was over I was laughing, smiling and had plans to go out with friends that night – she grabbed my arm and said – please call your mom before you go out – as a mother, when your daughter calls you upset, you stay upset for hours thinking about her wishing you could do something – even though you may have moved on hours ago – so just let her know you’re doing OK now. Best advice I ever got in my life. Tell her to do the same for you – it will make your bond stronger and you’ll always know when things are right again with the world!

    Keep strong, what a great support group you’ll have for the drive back!

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