Monday, April 12, 2010

A bittersweet day

When my oldest daughter went off to college two Augusts ago, her bedroom at our house stayed pretty much the same. She was living in a tiny dorm room and being in school only 40 minutes from us, she came home almost every weekend to escape her roommate. She moved home for the summer and nothing changed too much.

When she went away this past August, she moved into an apartment with a friend. Suddenly she needed furniture and so we were able to give them some of our discards for their apartment. Still, her bedroom at our house stayed almost intact. Her bed was in her room at our house, always waiting for those days when came back. The days became fewer and fewer as fall turned to winter.

Yesterday was the day when her bed at our house finally moved to her apartment. She decided that the bed she was using there was too small, and so she asked for her queen size bed from our house. Simultaneously I decided that now might be the time to ask her about her room. It is the largest bedroom in our house, and I thought that if she could move her bedroom to a spare room in our basement, I can take over her room with my home office.

I thought this would be an emotional question and I actually dreaded asking her, but I really wanted the larger bedroom for my use. At the same time, this was the only bedroom she had known almost her whole life. It was the room where she grew up, and there are still teddy bears and pictures on the wall, and her high school yearbooks are on the shelves. When I am in it, her presence is surrounding me. She is still a little girl to me when I'm in that room.

When I asked her about dismantling her room, she didn't mind at all. She really didn't care too much. Maybe this is harder on me than it is on her. I know that this signals probably the last time she has lived in our house as a child. When she comes home now, she will be staying in her new bedroom, which will be more like a guest room to her. Her apartment has now become more of a home to her.

I knew this day would come eventually, and over the past few years when I thought about it, I imagined I was looking forward to it. One kid out of the nest, two more to go. Then freedom. It is really a lot harder than that. While my greatest wish for my children has always been for them to launch into the real world, when it actually happens, it is tough to let go.

Peggy McNeal

1 comment:

one girl creative said...

I have always heard about this impending "doom" that we as parents are forced to face. A part of me would be excited for her freedom and independence, but I also know since she is an only child that I will feel sadness as well.

I look forward to that day, as well as dread it. You sound like you're handling it well regardless.

Hang in there and remember that you will never lose that relationship with a daughter. You will only get closer as she gets older.