Monday, August 22, 2005

She's on her way

Phew, what a weekend! As mentioned on Friday, we moved my daughter to college. Not what I was expecting at all, either emotionally, financially, or logistically. But I am so proud of her, she’s at an exceptional school, and she’s on the road to the life she wants.

There’s one song that has always reminded me of her:

Child of Mine by Carole King

We’d stayed up late on Friday night, too, watching home videos of her when she was small. There’s this great clip of her talking about sending her baby doll to college. It's way cute, we were quoting it all weekend. The doll was going to college because "it’s her birthday over there!" said with the very broad Massachusetts accent she had when she was small.

So college has been on our minds since she was very little. Another great song:

The Babysitter’s Here by Dar Williams

The message that you shouldn’t have to choose between college and a relationship has been a theme of mine throughout her upbringing. And she did indeed leave behind a boyfriend to go off to school. It was tougher than we both thought it would be.

As we sat in her dorm room saying our good-byes, and the tears started to flow, I said, "Honey, we’ve been preparing for this moment for 18 years. You are so ready for this. You’re right where you wanted to be, at the best school for what you want to do, and it’s gonna be great." Then we listened to the Carole King song together, made one last trip to the campus store, and waved to her from the car as we drove off.

I’m left thinking, wow. There are these moments in life where you can see great growth is ahead. Sometimes changes happen gradually, sometimes huge changes happen in ONE DAY. There’s a time of acclimation, but the growth is assured just as the forsythias outside her bedroom window at home burst into bloom each spring.

She is going to grow so much. But she had grown too much already to stay at home. She’d been growing and growing, and this weekend, the circumstances both caught up with her already achieved growth and will provide the environment for further, profound, unimaginable growth that could not have been achieved at home. As she comes into her own, she is going to change the world.

She’s already making her mark. Do you know what she did the first night at the dorm? Stayed up late talking with her suitemates about Christian Science and spirituality.

She’s still my girl.

You don't need direction, you know which way to go
And I don't want to hold you back, I just want to watch you grow
You're the one who taught me you don't have to look behind
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

--Child of Mine, Carole King

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At 8/23/2005 02:17:00 AM, Blogger Rev. Veronika Birken said...

Yes, Laura!
This i s God's mercy: everything is for this wonderful growth from a boundless basis to infinite possibilites. Our tears are the dew from Heaven which blesses all.
Love and peace, Veronika

At 8/23/2005 12:34:00 PM, Blogger -mt said...

Very touching. I hope you recognized in this that you, too, are "graduating" to a higher grade of parenthood. You know what I always say after watching my own kids deal with their kids: Parenthood is just a phase - you'll outgrow it! It won't be long and you'll realize that your job is finished and the rest of your relationships with these people is the pleasure of peers.


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