Mixed Blessing

Our 19 year old daughter headed off to start her second year of college yesterday. She has a cute on-campus apartment with 3 good friends. A car of her own.  Interesting classes this fall.  She’s close enough that she plans to come home on the weekends. It is an ideal situation for her. And for me, really. To have her this close, yet still allow her this independence. She’s ready to be on her own, excited to be hanging out with her friends again, and eager to start school again. I know she’ll do great, and I’m so very pleased for her.

Moving in

And yet. Last night we needed one less plate at dinner. She wasn’t there to hug at bedtime. Her bed was empty this morning.  And I am glum.  In a few days I’ll be okay.   Or at least resigned to the new normal.  I’ve done this before and survived.  Regained my equilibrium.  But this morning I’m wishing that watching kids grow up didn’t feel like chipping away at our family circle.

Good thing tonight is family movie night.  She’ll be home again for a night or two before heading back to school for the week.  Amanda and Ben are planning to be here tonight too.  I love movie night, having my loved ones gathered together. In that room full of people, I can more easily remember that our family circle is actually growing.

In between times, I’ll just text her.  And talk to her on facebook.  And try not to look to closely at empty chairs.




  1. It is the natural order of things. But not always easy.

  2. Thanks, I thought you were freezing the cobs, too.

  3. Oops, wrong comment spot. Glad your daughter will be home for movie night.

  4. we are at least 16 years from our first going to college. but still, as i wait for our second to arrive (any day now!) i’m amazed at how quickly my baby is growing up. . . his small frame takes over his crib and, since he’s talking so much, he’s really not a baby anymore.

    it is very bittersweet, no matter what stage.

  5. My first baby is leaving on Friday. I don’t know how I can stand it.

  6. Waaaaaa. I’m so going to be there with you soon. I’ve only a few months left with my oldest before he’s off on his own. My heart hurts and he hasn’t even left. Does it get easier?

  7. Such a good reminder on a day when I am flustered by the rotating demand for food, the pee sprinkles outside the toilet, and the constant noise that goes along with four young boys.

    It won’t always be like this and I need to appreciate it.

  8. Is that a Neon that she’s driving? I used to have a Neon! Loved that car. Good luck to you all!

  9. This stage seems so far away for me…but I’m sure it did for you not so long ago Mary!

  10. Oh Mary … you are telling me it doesn’t get easier? My princess is currently in Missouri at Army bootcamp and geesh, I miss her horribly. Even though she had moved out previously, at least I could text her & talk to her daily if we so chose, now I have to wait til Sunday night at 8pm and get a mere 15 minutes. Uggg.

  11. Sweet and sad. I’m curious what you’re watching tonight. :0)

  12. Hey Tammy, we’re watching http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Uncle_Nino/70025653?trkid=226870

    I hope it’s good!

  13. Been there doing that next weekend. My youngest is going to start her second year of college and she will be 6 hours away. She does not drive so no running home for the weekend. We basically won’t see her until Thanksgiving. I understand where you are now because I am there too. I am going to enjoy one more week with her and then let her go.

  14. Bittersweet but we have to remember the ‘sweet’ in that word. Kind of like the glass half full! It is wonderful when our kids reach maturity – what an incredible process. But, we do miss them…

  15. Yes, it is bitter-sweet Mary. I would love it if such things never had to change, but I have discovered that sometimes the things that hurt a bit only bring us greater blessing. Our nest is empty now, but there have been seven precious grandchildren added to our circle. Pure joy.

  16. she is beautiful!

  17. Sarah, Yup, I’m trying hard to focus on the ‘sweet’~


  18. Has the dynamic in your family changed with both the older girls out of the house?

  19. gulp. i’m not looking forward to those years. but in some ways, it can be better than ever…go with joy, mary’s second daughter!

  20. oh, I feel for you. I know how hard it is when my oldest goes away and that is only for a week. I can’t even imagine college.

  21. Just mailed your post to my sis, who said goodbye to her twin boys last week when they went to college. I know she’s going to appreciate your post…

  22. Im not looking forward to my kids leaving home at all, and mine are only 9,5 and 2 !! Im like a lost sheep when they go back to school after the holidays ! – glad she will be home at the weekends though x x

  23. *sigh* a glimpse of what is to come. I know I’m going to be blubbering baby when I get there…

    she looks like a fine girl!

  24. Exactly how I feel. My son just left for his apartment, and my daughter will be going in 2 weeks. They come home on weekends, but … sigh…the empty nest. I gave an extra hug to my just-turned-14-yr-old.