I didn’t expect it. I didn’t see it coming. I just figured after three years of this, it wouldn’t effect me. But I got a lump in my throat when I had to say goodbye to my daughter when I dropped her off at college yesterday to begin her spring semester. For five weeks there was bickering between my daughters, arguing about bathroom time, one instigating the other against the third. Calling each other childish names, sisterly abuse to the highest degree, and battling for who was getting the spare car for the night.
I should’ve been happy to rid myself of the noise and get back to my peaceful household with just one daughter left in it. I should’ve been tickled to not have to worry about who was getting to watch their television show on the available television that’s NOT in my office, which is off limits to all the women in my house (unless the Mrs. wants to watch a show). I should’ve been happy that my grocery bill was immediately cut in half, trips to the gas station cut by a third, and a gallon of milk didn’t run out every other day. I should’ve been happy that I don’t have to do two loads of bath towels every three days and there aren’t going to be any more young women’s undergarments hanging in my laundry room.
I should be happy that my girls are growing into young women, working on their future careers and developing as unique human beings who are starting to have an opinion about the world around them, and doing their best to figure out how to be successful without any help from Mom and Dad.
The thing that chokes me up, even as I write this post, is that I didn’t see the independence coming. They both wanted to go back to college. They looked forward to it. They couldn’t wait to see their friends, and to a lesser degree, get started on their studies for the spring semester. There’s a part of me that is happy that they both seem happy with the colleges they chose to attend. Part of me is sad because I got the feeling for the first time yesterday that my two oldest girls don’t need me so much anymore.
The experts with lots of letters after their names would say that that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But I have to admit that I’d much rather referee their cat fights than sit alone in a quiet house.
P.S. Don’t forget to tell your daughter that you love her.