My oldest daughter is a senior in high school. She is taking a class called Teacher Cadets. Recently they had to complete a college preparation journal. As part of the assignment, the teacher requested that a parent or guardian for each student write a short essay expressing their feelings about their child preparing for college. The following was my contribution.
"The time is fast approaching for her to leave the nest. I remember the day as a single mom-to-be I had to tell my parents that I was expecting her. They had mixed emotions, but began to look forward to the birth of their first grandchild. I was filled with excitement and apprehension. I had always wanted children and at the time I was 29 years old. I just never pictured myself as a single parent.
Hannah came along in February 1993 and it was just the two of us for 8 years. For that reason, we have always had a special bond. While I made every effort to ensure she knew I am above all else her mother, I also wanted her to grow up knowing she could come to me and ask or tell me anything.
As a child, Hannah spent a great deal of time with my parents. She was always the apple of my mother’s eye. My mother passed in November 2008. Hannah and my mother were close. Now each milestone Hannah comes to brings with it a slight feeling of melancholy because her grandmother is not here to share the moment.
As her time to explore the world as a young adult leaving for college draws near, I am once again filled with excitement and apprehension. She has grown into a wonderful young woman and I am excited to see her go out into the world, explore that new frontier and make her mark. As her mother, I of course feel apprehension because she will be making decisions on her own. I know that there will be mistakes made, and that is all part of the growth process. But knowing does not make it any easier as a parent who wants to protect her from all things.
I pray daily that I have given her what she needs to make sound decisions, to be prepared for the pitfalls of life and present to the world a strong confident person who can handle herself and the ups and downs of this life. I also pray for the strength to step back and accept her as an adult and maintain a healthy distance as she goes out on her own. The one thing that will never change is I am her mother, but there is never going to be anything she cannot share with me. I will be here for her when she needs a mother and when she needs a friend.
My daughter, my friend – I will send her out into this world filled with and surrounded by faith, hope, love and the support she needs just when she needs it."