Growing Up and Leaving Home

My second child is going off to college this month. When my oldest left, four years ago, I couldn’t drop her off because I was starting a new job. This time around I am going but I can’t help her move in because I start to work three days earlier this year. Just the time I would need to help her settle in. I will have to fly back to Calgary from Boston with my son; my husband will stay behind until she is settled in. I’m hoping I don’t cry all the way home. My son is going to be sad, too. He doesn’t need a blubbering mom to worry about.

I thought this time around it would be easier to let my child go. I thought that having gone through this rite of passage once before would make things easier. But, I was wrong. Every time I think of some plan we have for the fall I immediately think of my second born and as quickly remember that she won’t be around. I get so sad that I have to work hard to pull myself back to the present. It’s not helping that the weather is so dreary; it hasn’t stopped raining in three days and we haven’t seen the sun for that long either.

I know my daughter will do well. She will be happy. She will be safe. She will go out into the world and do great things. I have no doubt about that but I’m selfish. i want her close to me; I want all my children close to me. And, then I remember Kahlil Gibran’s words and it gives me courage:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

Growing up is hard.

4 thoughts on “Growing Up and Leaving Home

  1. What a beautiful quote! I've never read this one before. I'll have to keep it somewhere for when I have to go through this with my children.

    You've helped give them the courage to spread their wings and fly but they will always remember their roots and come back.

    Elisa, it's wonderful to read that your children are pursuing their education. They're empowering themselves so much by taking this step in life.

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  2. Hi Bernadette,
    This is actually the beginning of a longer poem by Gibran. The part I posted is only the first stanza. There is a beautiful a cappella rendition of this poem by Sweet Honey in the Rock. I'm going to see if I can find them on YouTube. If I do, I'll post it on my blog.

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