A milestone in my life as a mother.
Today I experienced another milestone in my life as a mother. My oldest daughter moved to a college residence. I have never wanted my children to leave our home, but I do want my children to receive a good education. My husband and I opened Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) for our two daughters when they were young with every hope that they would continue their education after high school. I am proud that my daughter has chosen to extend her education planning to earn a promising career for herself.
There have been many moments I have broken down with tears of pride and tears of joy throughout the past 18 years. There are the usual milestones that all parents experience: the first step, the first word, the first day of school. Not everyone gets to experience the overwhelming pride as a result of their daughter winning a gold medal at the Junior Pan American Games, reading report card after report card with high grades and high praise, watching as they win the Female Athlete of the Year Award upon graduating grade 8, or MVP for one or more sports teams.
I have had the pleasure of experiencing all these things and more. I had to accept the fact that my daughter was growing up when she started dating her first boyfriend (they were not permitted to date until the age of 16), and when the lovely couple posed for pictures before they headed off for the high school prom. That was quickly followed by graduation and my daughter donned in cap and gown walking into an arena to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance.
And today, a couple of months later, we loaded up the van and moved my daughter to her new home, Sheridan College, an hour’s drive from our homestead. My husband helped bring everything to her room but left shortly after since he is working the nightshift.
I spent the entire day with my daughter helping her make her bed, build a cabinet, shop for groceries and set up her new wireless printer. It was an exhausting day and I have to admit I am in a lot of physical pain because of it. But I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.
My daughter’s bedroom at College
At 5pm my daughter walked me down to my car where I pulled her into a tight embrace. “I’m proud of you,” I told her. “I love you and I am going to miss you.”
“Mom, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Yes, I am to drive back down there tomorrow to bring her home for the annual Car Derby at the Fall Fair. I also have a list of things she forgot that I must bring to her. Being an hour away is better than being half way across the country; I should be grateful – and I am. And with the latest technologies of webcam and texting, we will probably be in touch every day. I don’t think I could go a day without communicating with her, without knowing that she is okay physically, emotionally, and mentally.
A few weeks ago my daughter told me we didn’t have to help her move to her new home away from home. That comment hurt me, which I told her in a later discussion. Moving your child to college is a rite of passage, an honour, a time to be proud, a time to let go. However, there will be more milestones – college graduation, marriage, grandchildren – and God willing I will be able to witness them all. And cry. After all, no matter how far away she is physically, I will always be her mother and I will always be proud.
Published in: Family