I was watching the news of all the kids moving into college for the new school year and wished in some way I had that opportunity to go off to college. I probably wouldn’t have utilized it well anyway but I wonder what could be different.
Then I was thinking and remembering the day we did that with our own children. The excitement, the tears, the hugs. I think kindergarten and college-going away hugs are some of the most intense there are with your children. For they and you realize at these two points they are off on their own in a different way for the first time.
The time between those two events (kindergarten and college) seems to have gone by in a blur once you find yourself packing up the SUV and driving them off to their college dorm. I still look at the pictures I have of my children on their moves to college and the first day.
But this coming week is something altogether new for me. In some ways, my heart even hurts more for this. My daughter is a teacher and returns to school this coming week (not that she hasn’t been there a few days already setting up) but this week she has to do something very hard. She has to leave her daughter for the first time and return to work.
I wish I could ease that feeling but it’s not possible. We are going to be helping and watching her ourselves a few days a week but I feel for them both so much. Children really are life.
Life seems to be a series of separations. Growing up ourselves, leaving home for school the first time. Leaving home to go to college. Leaving home and getting your own. Having your own children and having to leave them. Then watching them go off to school for the first time at various levels.
Watching your parents age, maybe watching them move from the family home to senior facilities. Seems like life is a series of separations that are so painful but at the same time looking back so important and successful and needed at the different stages of life.
The ability to live and survive on our own are developed in how we handle these situations. I didn’t have the funds to go off to college or the brains to have someone else pay for it. So I kind of missed the college experience except for 1 year at community college and I didn’t realize that part-time job that turned into a full time one I took to help pay for it was going to be my career.
Be thankful you have the opportunity to experience these separations. There are parents now that wish they could experience watching their children return to school instead of being in a hospital. Be thankful you are there for your children because there are a lot of kids that only share going off to school or college with one parent and sometimes none.
So to my daughter. Always remember you are the flower and the love you give will always return to you and be there for you as it has been for us.
And to the leaders and future leaders of this country. Start to look at how other countries (like Canada) and how they place the importance of a new child and the time they give the parents before returning to work or in holding their jobs. If you say you are trying to improve things, start by improving the family structure and ability to survive.