With an overpacked car stuffed of DIY Ikea knickknacks, we found ourselves driving across the great plains of the midwest to drop off my baby girl at college. She’s our last one to leave the nest.
The departure was hard — more wrenching than Kellie or I could have expected. To see my little one now grown up and stepping into her own life was wonderful and painful. To watch her make new friends that live half a country away from us was beautiful and awful. She too danced on a full plate of emotions. She wanted us to leave and she wanted us to stay. She was glad to start her journey and she wanted to come back home.
Crossing life’s lines are rough. It is a battle between the known and unknown — the place into which we’ve settled and the place into which we are moving. I’ve done it before with job changes, residential moves and relationship beginnings. You’ve done it as well. In fact, I know of several families at the moment that are crossing lines tragically and emotionally.
How do we make the traditions? Here’s a tip.
Acknowledge what you’re losing and what you’re gaining.
This comes at the points of both making a crossing-the-line decision and stepping forward to fulfill it. What will this change force to melt away? What will this change present to you in a magnificent way? To what will you have to say goodbye and to what will you get to say hello?
She video-called two days after we dropped her off. Selfishly, I was hoping she would tell me she really missed me, but a few minutes into the call, she paused, looked to her right and said, “Wait Dad. There’s someone here. [pause again] Oh, hi guys!” and her volleyball team came in and jumped on her bed. She giggled. I choked. But that is the way it is supposed to be as we cross the lines.