It has been 77 days since the band played “Pomp and Circumstance” and we watched our daughter march triumphantly across the field to receive her high school diploma.
Since then, we’ve been seemingly stuck in a pre-college no-man’s land…rather like running aground on a sandbar, and the tide just isn’t right for moving any of us.
And being stuck gives us time.
Time for preparations, like orientation, choosing a bedspread, and meeting a new roommate.
Time for “lasts:” the last dinner with high school friends, the last day of church together, the last family vacation.
And time for new thoughts and plans and questions as she embraces the about-to-be freshman experience. She’s curious and excited and nervous.
College conjures a new list of worries in my maternal mind:
West Nile Virus
I get a little carried away sometimes.
And yet, history tells me that all of these worries will likely be unfounded. We’ve endured many “firsts” with our children, and we’ve all emerged victorious…
However, these “firsts” require courage.
I remember our daughter’s first steps, her chubby legs lurching forward in syncopated rhythm (looking to us, like graceful ballet…) Similarly, I can see, in my mind’s eye, that terrifying, exhilarating moment when Tom let go of her bicycle seat, and she peddled that two-wheeler down the street and out of sight. And, in the blink of an eye, she was in the driver’s seat, possessing a shiny new laminated license, and driving right out of the neighborhood.
I have admired her mettle and determination at each of these rites of passage, and I know that these qualities will serve her well as she begins college next week. All of these “firsts” that are prologue to the greater challenges that she will face in the grown-up world. This is another “first” in her journey, and it will take a great lot of courage for my daughter to step off the sandbar and swim toward the life God has planned for her.
And it will take a great lot of courage for me to let her go.