Friday, August 21, 2015

Growing Up and Leaving Home

Today is the day.

Megan is leaving home.

Today she moves into the dorm at Sheridan College. Classes begin Monday.

Megan took off her sunglasses for a photo, but couldn't keep her eyes open.

How can this be? Can she really be so grown up?

Next Thursday will be her 18th birthday, so I guess it is true, even if my heart says "No."

So, I am babysitting Trixie the dog while the Birdies are off to move Megan into the college dorm. Tears are not far away.

I am happy for Megan. She is setting off on a whole new adventure, and, after all, Sheridan is not so far away. I'll be seeing her again on her birthday; I plan to go with Chad and Anne Marie to take her to birthday lunch. Then she will have to go back to class, and I don't know if we will be staying in Sheridan until after classes to visit more.

I remember when my son left for college in Rapid City. At first, he stayed in Rapid over the weekends. It wasn't too long, however, before he was coming home every Friday night, even in the winter. I liked that! He wasn't so tied to home he couldn't go out into the wider world, but he still liked to spend time with his family. (Of course, he now lives as far from home as he could possibly be without falling into the Atlantic Ocean.)

I have always believed that the job of a parent is to work yourself out of a job. In other words, to raise your children to be capable, independently functioning adults. Doesn't mean there isn't a considerable amount of pain involved in the letting go. And that applies to grandchildren, too. I've lived close to Megan all her life, and she has spent Friday (and often Saturday) nights in our (then my) home since she was about four years old.

Life's big milestones are such a mixture of happy and sad that my emotions are in a tangle!