It’s been two weeks since we dropped my daughter off at college. The actual college drop off is a strange phenomenon … after caring for this person for 18 years, we left her in an unfamiliar room with a roommate who is a stranger, and hoped for the best. We said bye and then waited for her to give us nuggets of information as to her well being. I had an ache in my heart. I just wanted to know that she was happy.
Two weeks later, I know that she is happy. She has no idea how much I hang on to her short texts… a comment about how she loves the out of the box thinking of her professors, or how much fun it was to attend her first football game. I got a picture text of her and some new friends at a waterfall (how did they get there??!).
Our family dynamics have changed. It’s now three of us at home. There is less laundry to do and the grocery shopping is different. Our cats wander in and out of Rachel’s room, wondering when she will return. Our family shares information at dinner .. and always asks each other if anyone has heard from Rachel. She shares different things with each us – mom, dad, brother.
When Rachel was living at home, I, as her mother, was probably the most annoying person on earth to her. She rarely shared personal information with me. She got irritated if I asked about her friends or what her plans were. But now, with a little distance between us, I think she actually sees me with a new perspective. She shares snippets of her life with me. It’s me she contacts when she needs something. She initiates conversations. It’s ironic that it took moving 250 miles away to bring us closer. I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship!