Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Sending my Baby to College

My eldest daughter is a senior in high school. Almost eighteen. Almost a college student.

She's nearly as freaked out about that as I am. It's exciting and scary all at once.

We've got one more semester with her at home and then shoom! off she goes.

We've been smart about this "leaving the nest" thing in some ways: we visited colleges last year, she's had a checking account for a couple of years now, we met the application deadlines, she has a good amount of driving experience, she's holding down a job and still making good grades, she can cook something besides peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We must have done okay, because she got accepted where she wants to go and we're already seeing some scholarship love.

In other ways, it feels like I'm running out of time to make sure she's ready. I've never made enough money to have significant savings, and I'm out of time now to put aside dollars for her schooling. We're just going to have to figure out how to make it work with what we have. She's never really done her own laundry. Will she go to bed at all if I'm not there to tell her that she has to stop and get some rest?

The oddest feeling, after planning for her to go to college her whole life, is wishing she just wouldn't go. Maybe that's the part people mean when they talk about "empty nest." My nest will hardly be empty. I have a younger daughter, a husband, and a very needy rescue dog, plus 150 or students each semester. Plenty of folks to take care of.

But still, I won't be taking of her, at least not in that day to day basis kind of way.

And it's like:

I know she'll love college. I remember how much I did. It's a wonderful opportunity, having four years to focus on what you love and learn how to make that into a way of making a living. Four years of having your mind and world expanded daily. She'll be awesome. She was made for this. 

Yeah. She's ready. 

I'm just not sure I am. 

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