Sunday, September 20, 2009
Today we brought our first born to college
Today we brought our daughter to UCSB for the start of her freshman year. I am filled with a mixture of emotions, ranging from euphoria to acute anxiety. As parents, is this not what we have been striving to do for the last 18 years? To raise a child from infancy, bring her through the trials and tribulations of K-12 education and marvel at the bright, witty and capable adult who stands before us, poised to take the world by storm? I delight in my daughter. I am thrilled for all the opportunities that lie before her and have great confidence in her future successes. But as we left her, teary-eyed in the hallway of the 6th floor, I had to force myself to stay strong, to be the role model of resolute conviction. My husband, two sons and I opted out of the shuttle bus back to the parking lot and took a soulful stroll across campus, dragging her oversized empty suitcase behind us. My 11-year old son remarked, "It feels like we're forgetting something." My husband called her before we reached the car to ask her if she missed us. She quickly responded "yes". My older son posted a sad face on Facebook because his sister was gone. These are the moments as a parent, sad and conflicted, where I have to remind myself that our goal was not to raise a happy child but to deliver unto the world a competent, self sufficient adult who would do great things, globally or locally, and perpetuate this continuum. My heart is full but there is a hole in my daily life that I will hold open for her. I hope my love for her shines through like a beacon in the dark, cheering her accomplishments, comforting her in times of distress and illuminating a path to a home that will always be here for her. I love you, sweet girl!