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Bittersweet day.................
Old 08-18-2008, 06:29 AM   #1
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Bittersweet day.................

DW and I are off to Texas, taking our oldest DD to college. I know in my heart it's time for her to spread her wings and fly, but the dad in me is having a hard time watching her go. How did others in this forum cope? Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:52 AM   #2
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There seems to be a lot of this going around...

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...tml#post699474

When she was an infant and you took her to get immunizations your rationale was "I know it hurts but it is for her own good". Well, it's payback time - this is good for her but you are the one hurting. Things balance out.

And if you think this is tough, wait until you walk her down the aisle and give her away...
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:01 AM   #3
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"A Son is a Son, until he takes a Wife. A Daughter is a Daughter the rest of her life". Heard that quote many years ago and have found it to be VERY true - Thinking of Sons (2) does not bring "burning eyes" like just thinking of my Daughters (2). Kids are all in their 40's but I still can see them in my mind as "little kids" if I try.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:29 AM   #4
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Mine actually went pretty well. Part of that is because we are used to it; DD hasn't lived with me full time in many years and there are a few times I don't see her for a month or so. She's going to school an hour from me so I know I'll see her a few times during the year. And she's left her mom for a month or two some summers to spend with me, and gone away from both of us on backpacking trips, so she's not likely to get homesick.

Mostly though I think she will thrive in college. I'm excited for her, and of course pretty nervous at the same time.

We had a 3 hour window to move in, then she had to go off to a marching band meeting and practice. So there wasn't time for lingering or long goodbyes. We got everything in, unpacked, hung, etc, then a few minutes to unwind and check out the rest of the dorm, then it was time for me to go. She walked me to my car, and I watched her go back to the dorm and she never turned back.

It was nice that she got to move in a couple days early because of band, so there wasn't all of the stress and chaos of everyone else moving in.

She already has a friend on the same floor who she met in color guard tryouts, and there will be a dozen more she already knows there at practice, and another 400 or so in the band to get to know. So, I don't think she'll be lonely.

Those rooms are tiny! I saw some people bringing in small U Haul trucks, and I don't know how they'll fit in all of that stuff!
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Wheel View Post
DW and I are off to Texas, taking our oldest DD to college. I know in my heart it's time for her to spread her wings and fly, but the dad in me is having a hard time watching her go. How did others in this forum cope? Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.

I coped by having a lump in my throat for several months and as Rewahoo said the wedding was even harder . It's nice to see your children grow up but it is also heartbreaking .
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wheel View Post
DW and I are off to Texas, taking our oldest DD to college. I know in my heart it's time for her to spread her wings and fly, but the dad in me is having a hard time watching her go. How did others in this forum cope? Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.
As parents, one goal many of us have is raising a child or children who are eventually independent and responsible, and who have good values instilled in them so they can make good decisions on their own. When our baby birds leave the nest and accomplish things on their own, it is as much a success for us as it is for them. When my daughter left home for college, I felt so proud of her. After you drop her off at college, try to feel like a gold medal Olympic athlete and hear the crowd applauding in the background.

Another thing to remember is that you will always be her father!! Parenting doesn't stop when your child leaves for college - - it never stops. She will still come to you for advice and counsel on the more important issues of life. She just doesn't need you to tell her to do her homework and clean her room, because she is telling herself to do these things (or because she is finding out what the tough consequences are if she doesn't, but hopefully not).

I still miss my mother, who died last year at almost 98, when I was 59. Even though she has passed away, she still has a profound influence on my life. Often I ask myself, "What would Mom do?" in various situations.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:37 AM   #7
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Well, I had a lump in my throat a little, but mostly it was like a commercial that aired a few years ago. The dad is saying goodbye to the son who's leaving for college. The kid asks, "Where's Mom?" and the dad replies "She's up in your room. She needs some time."

The kid leaves and the dad goes up to the room, and the mom is measuring "OK, we'll put the hot tub here, and we'll put a window there." The Mom and Dad high five.

IOW, the empty nester transition wasn't too hard for us. We got her nicer room, and here are the before, during, and after shots:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Before.jpg (49.4 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg LenaPaintsOverview.jpg (56.8 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg SquaringTheHole.jpg (144.0 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Overview.jpg (83.9 KB, 6 views)
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:41 AM   #8
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DD was the second child to go to college so it wasn't as traumatic. I was OK but my wife cried the whole drive (3.5 hours) home. DD is now 31 and living her dream, working on Broadway and living in NY City. You have to let them go.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:22 AM   #9
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DD just started her 4th and final year of college. I miss her and think about her often, particularly when I write those hefty checks in a crashing economy.

But let's face it. A parent's job should be to get then launched successfully. Do you really want them around forever? I've noticed recently how much DD has changed from a mostly clueless teenager to a got-it-together young woman I can discuss life issues with. Now I'm not sure how I'll handle walking down the aisle with her. I find that I'm getting more emotional as I age, so it may end badly.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:36 AM   #10
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We have a favorite family story about when my youngest brother left the nest to go off to college. He was the last of four kids to move out, and my folks had been anticipating the event. He left for a five-hour drive to campus, they started painting and redecorating his room a few seconds after he pulled out of the driveway. The paint was already purchased, my dad left to rent a carpet cleaner after the furniture was removed, mom dove right into painting. When he called to tell them he made it there OK, they had just finished moving the new furniture into their new home office...
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:43 AM   #11
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The Monday after our youngest went off to college we put the house up for sale - without bothering to mention it to her. Sold within 5 days of listing. When DD called home the next week we not only told her her old bedroom was gone - so was the house!

Hey, we left her a forwarding address...
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:27 AM   #12
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DW and I are off to Texas, taking our oldest DD to college. I know in my heart it's time for her to spread her wings and fly, but the dad in me is having a hard time watching her go. How did others in this forum cope? Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.
The first time you let go is the hardest, because you know it's the beginning of the long letting go. We're preparing to take our younger DD back for her second year of college. Our oldest DD is in graduate school, and our DS is beginning his sophmore year of high school. We have several more years of letting go. It does get easier but not less meaningful.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:38 AM   #13
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DD just started her 4th and final year of college. I miss her and think about her often, particularly when I write those hefty checks in a crashing economy.
But only one more check to go (assuming you've already sent the fall semester check)!
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:53 AM   #14
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The Monday after our youngest went off to college we put the house up for sale - without bothering to mention it to her. Sold within 5 days of listing. When DD called home the next week we not only told her her old bedroom was gone - so was the house!

Hey, we left her a forwarding address...

I have to admit that THIS is the best one IMO...


Kind of reminds me of when I was real young... my dad used to joke when we were about to get home that he hoped the house had not moved.... I always was scared that when we turned the corner we would see an empy lot... I don't think that is what he meant...
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:08 PM   #15
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The Monday after our youngest went off to college we put the house up for sale - without bothering to mention it to her. Sold within 5 days of listing. When DD called home the next week we not only told her her old bedroom was gone - so was the house!

Hey, we left her a forwarding address...
That is priceless!

Your idea of selling the house takes the cake!
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:09 PM   #16
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Another thing to remember is that you will always be her father!! Parenting doesn't stop when your child leaves for college - - it never stops. She will still come to you for advice and counsel on the more important issues of life.
Seriously, is this the norm?

I didn't ask or receive advice after leaving for college at 18; and very little for several years before then.

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The Monday after our youngest went off to college we put the house up for sale - without bothering to mention it to her. Sold within 5 days of listing. When DD called home the next week we not only told her her old bedroom was gone - so was the house!

Hey, we left her a forwarding address...
A month before my senior college year, Mother told me they had sold the house, and were moving from Upstate NY to the Gulf Coast after they dropped me off at college.

I had to get a student loan and officially declare myself financially independent (to keep my NY state scholarship).

They did leave a forwarding address.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:25 PM   #17
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Seriously, is this the norm?

I didn't ask or receive advice after leaving for college at 18; and very little for several years before then.
I think it depends on the particular kid and parents.

In my case I still ask my parents for input on some issues; I'm 39 and they're 72/69. They're a unique resource because (1) they know me very well, (2) I know they care about me, and (3) they're a second set of eyes/ears/brains that can help with a slightly different perspective or perhaps catch things I might not have.

I think the key is to make sure the relationship shifts from a parent/child relationship where the child is doing what the parent says, to a special kind of healthy adult/adult relationship where the younger adult is soliciting input for consideration.

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Old 08-18-2008, 01:15 PM   #18
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When he called to tell them he made it there OK, they had just finished moving the new furniture into their new home office.
It took us longer because we had to go through her stuff and read her journal and the letters she'd gotten from her boyfriend.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:47 PM   #19
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Why is it that whenever an American kid goes to College they have to relocate across the country,
My daughter is going to college just 5 blocks away from her high school.:confused:
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:53 PM   #20
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Why is it that whenever an American kid goes to College they have to relocate across the country...
We make home life so unpleasant they can't wait to get some distance? Or we see the growth in maturity and self-confidence gained by living independently?

You choose.
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