Next Year Everything Changes

My daughter will graduate from high school in exactly 12 months. She plans to study zoology and attend college on the West Coast. When we talk about her going away to college I have mixed emotions. I feel sad because our daily routines will be over. No more chats and chuckles about whatever before going to bed each night, or inhaling the aroma of buttermilk biscuits baking in the oven in the mornings. No more wishing each other a good day before I leave for work. No more phone calls from her when she gets home from school so we can check-in with each other and chat about our day.

“What’s for dinner?,” a question she asks before the conversation ends, and one I dread answering when I don’t have a meal in mind to prepare.

“I dunno,” I reply.

No more togetherness as I have come to know and find comfort in.

But I also feel happy because it will be an exciting time for her. A time to spread her wings and experience life and all it has to offer. Knowing that she will embark on a voyage of empowerment and gain so much knowledge about herself and the world makes me very happy. I would love to see the world through her eyes during her journey.

I wonder if the values I’ve tried to impress upon her in words and in deeds will have nestled in her mind so deeply that she never forgets them. I wonder if I have taught her all she needs to know to live responsibly on her own.

My daughter is a beautiful person with a delightful personality. She thinks for herself and marches to the beat of her own drum while sustaining core friendships, and exploring new ones. When I think about the kind of person she is, I have the utmost confidence that she will be fine and do well.

Next year, when she leaves home for college, she will leave as my “little girl.” Four years later, she will return home a young woman.
I am so proud of her.

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