Decision made... how to cope w/emotions...

<p>Well, it's done... my daughter has made her decision and is off to Vassar in the fall. She is now swinging between excitement and fear... the later a natural questioning of her own capabilities compared to those of her fellow classmates to be. I know she'll be fine and after a month or two of classes will laugh when she recalls the fears, but I wonder how many others are feeling the same way?
I'm also feeling for my wife who is seeing her first born leave soon and is very emotional about it. One day she's expressing her pride about the acomplishments of our daughter and the incredible times ahead of her, and the next day she's crying at the mention of the fall. She envies the parents whose children are staying close to home for college... she fears her baby will get hooked on the east and won't return to California... she regrets that she won't often be able to see her compete athletically... and on and on... Anyone else going through this? Any parents (Moms especially) who have been through it in the last few years? How long did it take to adjust to your S/D being 3000 miles away? Any things that helped you through it?</p>

<p>I have a son going 7 hours away and while that isn't to far it's still a hoof. He had choices in California and at the beginning of this process was full ahead at going west coast. I was glad when he changed his mind. Several of our friends have children going a couple of hours away. Although weat coast was probably wiser for his major (film) I know had he gone now that would have been it. He plans on living in LA. I know this is his choice and am thankful he sees college as a next step not the final step and choose to be a little closer for now. It would have been very hard and I totally feel for your wife. While Ohio is not California we will still be far enough away not to share in person most of his experiences (plays and sports). I think as hard as it is that is what college is. A stepping stone for all of us (children and adults) to let go. To begin to share in their lives in a different way. We need to find the best way to stay supportive and share in this experience but allow them room to grow. It's hard with a great distance because there is no choice you must let go. It's probably just as hard if they had chosen schools a couple of hours away with a greater temptation to intrude. It's a time to let go and let them begin their lives. We all did the same. We all made it through and I believe our parents did too.</p>


<p>You are a very sweet and empathetic man~I am sure your wife and daughter appreciate you greatly!</p>

<p>We are going through all of the above! We, too, are dealing with the emotional effects of our oldest heading off for school far from us. We live in Kansas, and my son will be attending Duke in the fall. Truthfully, I haven't even been able to "go there" emotionally yet. I just can't. On the one occasion where I tried to imagine the ride back after dropping him off next August, I nearly had a panic attack! Since he is our oldest, I have no prior experience handling this, so I'll definitely be interested to hear what others who have gone through this have to say.</p>

<p>My son has vocalized some anxiety about being placed in a situation where he is no longer at the very, very top of his peer group academically. Though I have some concern because he attends a strong, but not superior, public school, I do believe in him and in his abilities, and I trust that he will do whatever it takes to master the challenging academics at Duke. That is just his way, and he has expressed to me that this amazing gift that he has been given (acceptance to Duke and the financial aid to go there) WILL NOT be taken for granted!</p>

<p>I, too, share your wife's concern that my son will decide that he likes the east coast and will never live in close proximity to us again. This is another place that I have not been able to fully go emotionally, but I have certainly given it some thought, and it does distress me. I just figure I'll have to "bribe" him back somehow, maybe with the prospect of being a very helpful and terrific grandmother when that time comes!?!? <em>lol</em></p>

<p>Please know that my heart goes out to your wife and you, and tell her that she is in good company. Many of us will be going through the same thing in a few months! ~berurah</p>

Anyone else going through this? Any parents (Moms especially) who have been through it in the last few years? How long did it take to adjust to your S/D being 3000 miles away? Any things that helped you through it?


<p>Right now, denial is working well ;). Ask me again in Sept. Actually graduation will be tough, music has a tendency to make me well up anyway.</p>

Right now, denial is working well


cangel, <em>LOLOL</em></p>

<p>Wish I were better at it! ~b.</p>

<p>My son is a junior at Stanford and we live near Philadelphia, so I have been through the exact same thing as you and your wife are experiencing right now. It seemed strange at first to have him so far away, but it has worked out fine and I am very glad he went to Stanford. I'm sure it will be fine for you, too. And it has fun for us to visit (not often enough, though, unfortunately) and enjoy the beauty of Stanford and California. My son's other choices were in Boston, so I kept telling myself that I wouldn't be making a five hour trip by car to see him very often if he had gone to school there, either. </p>

<p>As far as choosing to live on the east coast after your daughter graduates, it was kind of funny for me to read that right now. My son has been away from home for the past two summers and will be working in Calfifornia this summer (although he will be home for a month after the job ends.) At this point in his life, he is making a lot of decisions for himself (but asks us for input when it comes down to really important situations). Anyway, the other night on the phone I said to him, "You only have one more year of college left, it will go fast." And he said (almost like a little kid), "Do you think I should look for a job in New York City or California for after I graduate?" And I said, "Do you mean as far as what is best career-wise or to be near us?" And he said, "Both." So I guess he really hopes to be near family, after all of his adventures during the last three years. I was very touched to hear this from him, even though I would understand and be fine if he took a job in either place. </p>

<p>Anyway, good luck to your daughter and your whole family. Another thing to keep in mind - with cell phone, instant message, etc., your daughter will not seem to be so far away as you imagine right now!</p>

<p>Denial works well at our house with only an occasional lapse.
The concern about the ability to keep up with a new more academically concentrated group is real. My mother told my sister when she dropped her off for the first time at Stanford, "Don't worry about getting A's here because everyone here is smarter than you. Just do your best." I didn't know that Mom had done that. I asked my sister how she reacted, and she said," I cried my way home from the library every night until midterms."
We all need to be aware that even though our kids don't mention it, they are all worried about this.</p>

<p>I hope that I don't come across as being a "disconnected" mom, LOL! BUT, I think that I am more excited than my D at her going away in the fall (we are in Pittsburgh..she will be attending Rice in Houston). OKay, maybe not more excited but at least as excited.. I have always hoped that my children could have all of the opportunities that I couldn't. My mom and dad would not consider any of their kids going to college more than 30-40 miles away from home. It wasn't an option. I attended the University of Pittsburgh, got a job right out of school, married my hs sweetheart and have never left. I always wondered what my life would have been given the opportunity to follow my dream and go south.. I have a great life here..a great h and wonderful kids... but I still dislike the Pittsburgh area. I hate COLD. I am now planning to try and talk my h into getting away from here once the kids are gone.. but I digress. I am so thrilled that I am able to give my D the opportunity to get out there and discover the world. I certainly would not be thrilled to know that she decides that she is going to settle in Houston. But if that it was she decides we will start piling up those frequent flyer miles and visit as much as we can. I just want to know that I gave her every opportunity to find her "place" where ever that place may be.. I am encouraging study abroad, and any travel opportunities that become available to her. I know that I will miss her dearly but can't wait to hear about all of the adventures that await her.</p>

<p>Truth is, my husband and I will be crying on each other's shoulders this August! He's as bad as I am. We both already get teary when we talk about our son's leaving because we know he's been ready for this for a long time. He's not likely to return for any length of stay. </p>

<p>At the same time, we both get very excited for him for the same reason. He needs to be out of this backwater and into what awaits him. We can see him already sculpting his new persona and standing straighter to fit it. It's a beautiful thing. He's a fine human being, and we'll be happy to get to watch him explode into his own independent life. (Thank God for web cams and a son willing to use one!)</p>

<p>I have some thoughts on this. My two left home much sooner than we had planned. In spring of D's soph year in hs, it was strongly suggested to us that she go to Interlochen for her junior year of high school. She is a singer. We were aghast at the thought of sending our 16 year old to northern Michigan- far from our home in Texas. However, when we took her to orientation and saw the joy on her face and the gratitute she expressed to us for giving her this opportunity, we were fine. Yes, we missed her. However, in this day and age communication is so easy. We emailed, talked on the phone and chatted on IM, and still do now that she is a soph in college. After two years away at high school, she chose Rice, which is much closer. I still have a tough time with the fact that WildChild, my S, has been away for all of high school. He is not as good of a communicator (at least not to his parents) and I often wish that circumstances had been a little different and that he could have been home. However, every time we visit him at his boarding school, we know he is in the right place. I think you will all feel that way about your kids and their colleges. Yes, you will miss them, but it is so exciting for them and for you that you will just move into a new method of communicating.</p>

First of all, I'm thrilled that your D has chosen Vassar over the "home" experience (being one who previously recommended that). And I say that as one who has all the emotions you & your wife have over my own about to go just as far across country. (I prefer the right choice for my own, over the comfort of having her near.) My D and I are extremely close, & I find myself with the same range of emotions (& even outbursts) as you & your wife. For me, it is complicated by the fact that I'm having trouble even dealing with the departure phase yet, as I'm still in tremendous fluctuation over the regrets she will have to supply imminently to the "rejected" U's. The last 6 months have been an emotionally overwhelming time for us, with an unexpected level of recruitment & offers & awards, including from my own Alma Mater, which she will not be attending. That Alma Mater has tremendous significance to both my departed & living family. [That's just an aside for those who may think that students, & their families, with multiple acceptances have it easy; there's often a lot of pain & guilt mixed in -- coloring the gratitude & relief with several shades of blue.] These interim "departures" are intensifying -- let's say it: the grief.</p>

<p>While this is my first college-bound child, I've seen results of several cross-country decisions in several families, as you probably have. There's just no way to predict which way it will go, of course. I've seen permanent return homes for those who made decisions against their college region ultimately (for culture or weather reasons), or who got better job offers in one locale or another, or came home or stayed away because of a grad school/professional school location. The strongest wild card is usually the social one: either the love interest -- staying where a potential or definite mate is, and/or a group of very close friends, usually made during undergrad or graduate years. And this is what your wife is "fearing."</p>

<p>However, one thing I've also seen: A cross-country choice of residence is often not completely "permanent." Many times there is an eventual re-settlement of the two "households" via frequent travel and then one household moving to the other side out of mutual desire, convenience, & economy.</p>

<p>My hope is that I don't make a complete fool of myself & embarrass my D with emotion when I help move her in this September. I know exactly what your wife is going through. And like you, music is the ultimate "tipper" for me. I should worry about making a fool of myself at graduation, even before I worry about Sept.</p>

<p>My D is 1000 miles away from our Fla home. What helped me get over it were all those **#$&! hurricanes. We even had to leave Smith early since our home airport was going to be shut down. I was just grateful that she was safely out of the state.</p>

<p>We dropped our son off at UVA last fall and it was a long drive back home to Alabama...all the usual stuff..will he make friends? will he miss his girlfriend? handle the academics? Hardest part was the girl of course...dads do better than moms....</p>

<p>Agree that it is tough to get used to no longer being the star. Have a niece who just chose Duke over Emory..we were discussing how there will be those days when the doubts will creep up....50% of the class will be in the bottom half. My son at UVA has noticed the step up and Virginia is not nearly as competitive as Duke. Nevertheless they all make it!</p>

<p>When I was in high school in south Florida I began to get the jitters before heading off to UVA in 1975. I wrote the dean telling him I sensed I was in over my head. He wrote back noting that I had the right combination of fear and excitement. Enough excitement to get me there and enough fear to keep me there!</p>

<p>2 years ago we took our D to her college--a 9 hours drive. Through the whole moving in process, out to lunch, etc. I focused on being calm. She was ready, we had done all we could to get her to this point, and she needed to try her wings. And...she was so excited about the new chapter in her life. I didn't cry until we were driving home!! I haven't cried since because she is so happy. Sure, there are down times--she has called when she is upset about something. But 95% of the time here calls are to tell us something funny, or exciting, or just because she wants to share an experience or tell her brothers something (she DOES miss everyone!) </p>

<p>She will be overseas (Great Britain) for her junior year--so I am having a much harder time with that distance, and have no idea how it will be--a great excuse to go over to visit and "make sure" she is doing fine!!</p>

<p>S is going to be going 5 hours drive away this fall. I will miss him tremendously, and expect I will cry when we drive home, but we feel good about his ability to try his wings, also.</p>

<p>The academic challenge has been met by our D--she has worked very hard. We know our S will rise to the challenge at Duke and work to make it a successful experience. He knows that this will be his biggest academic challenge ever--fierce competition and a heavy workload in Engineering--but he seems excited--he wants to jump into the subjects he has always like so much! They both know that we expect them to take advantage of the opportunities they have, and work to the best of their ability. They also know that we want them to have fun with the activities that are available--to keep balance!! </p>

<p>Is it hard to think about them never coming back to live in our area?? Absolutely! But then both, H and I have been "away" from our respective homes for over 25 years, and we are very happy. That's the price we will pay for our kids' happiness--but it will give us an excuse to travel, too!</p>

<p>I definitely want to respond to this thread, but I don't have enough time right now. I do want to say that, hard as it is, the aniticipation is way worse than the actual adjustment. I think my kids saw me shed more tears senior year than all of their growing up - then and EVERYTIME we're at the airport. It does get better....</p>

<p>Will give more insight as to what it's been like for us (three times!) later - I do have a few tips.</p>

<p>Irishforever - Our son spent a year in London...I'll have to tell you about that. What a panic I went through when he decided to do that, but it really wasn't bad, and a wonderful experience for him and a neat family trip for all of us! LOL The best thing we did is invest (for $200 or so) in a global cell phone. More I must run.</p>

<p>There's a great book called "Letting go" for parents of children going off to college. It starts with "right now" the April decision/acceptance period...I haven't read very far, but so far it is on the money re the atmosphere at our house. Be sure you get the latest edition, which is 2004, I think.
Two friends have told us, "by the time they're ready to go (in August), you are READY to have them go" :)
Guess there may be some ups and downs ahead in the next few months!</p>

<p>GK50, I don't have any advice but your post made me cry in anticipation of when I will be in the same spot next year.</p>

<p>to the OP and everyone else.... I'm an empty nester and I have to agree that the anticipation is far, far worse than the reality. You will be a parent to an adult for far longer (God willing) than you were to an infant, a toddler, a school age child, but most people focus so much on the early parenting years that they miss the fact that parenting an adult is just as hard as being a good parent to a little one.</p>

<p>This is your opportunity to start learning how to be a good parent for this next phase. There are college kids who learn quickly not to tell Mom and Dad much because the lectures and the speechifying and the judgements come fast and furious.... and then there are kids who maintain a close and loving relationship. There are kids who settle thousands of miles away and who are just as connected emotionally as those who are around the corner... and vice versa.</p>

<p>This is your big opportunity to begin the next phase... I wasted the last few months of my kids time at home worrying about the empty nest instead of trying out my "parent to an adult" skills.</p>

<p>How did I adjust to my first born going 3000 miles away? I'm afraid I haven't really. But...
We're very lucky these days we have so many ways to keep in touch - cell phone, email and one of the best ways of all, if your kid is the type to do it... a blog! My D has her own weblog that is posted on a free site -she writes in it frequently, and we can really see what she's up to and what's on her mind. It's been a lot of fun for us, and a great outlet for her as well. Because a blog contains ramblings and uncensored thoughts to "the world at large" , we feel closer to her when reading it than we do when she writes emails to us. Example of latest entry:</p>

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Finally I Am Productive!
Woot woot! Just finished my English paper...after having seven pages written I still had to spend two entire (and I do mean entire) days on it getting everything to make sense! I guess that's what I deserve for writing on Waiting For Godot. I mean, my entire arguement is that you can't legitimately interpret Waiting For Godot. That should be the end of the paper right there. Alas, I'm not quite that bold. </p>

<p>Hmm hmm tomorrow (ha! this morning)...then meeting to talk about energy policy...then lab lab lab...then a sober version of Spring Fling -- the Shins and OAR are coming! And also this beatboxer from the Roots, but I don't care as much about him...then while everyone's passed out I'll write another paper because tomorrow's schedule is even crazier than today's. But funner: FOOT Equipment Day and TUIBsongs and ArchaeoClub feast. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!eeeeeeDietsnapplegonetomyhead.... </p>

<p>Good moods come from good workouts. Quote from Steve Ilg: "SWEAT=BEADS OF TRANSFORMATION." </p>

<p>love love love it. </p>

<p>Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2005 12:46 AM EDT
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Reading Week!
The countdown begins: </p>

<p>Days until all my classwork is over: 15
Number of papers to complete in that time: 2.5
Number of exams to take: 1
Number of Power Point presentations: 1 </p>

<p>Days until Spring Fling: 2
Number of inebriating beverages the average Yalie will consume on Spring Fling: 5
Number of hours of lab time my group has scheduled on Spring Fling: 7 </p>

<p>Days until I fly home: 24
Actual hours between leaving Yale and actually getting home: 9
Hours of music on my iPod: 216 </p>

<p>:D </p>

<p>Friday, April 22, 2005
The (Neglected) Week In Review
The good: </p>

<li>I'm going to Peru this summer! </li>
<li>We are now in the wee hours of Earth Day. </li>
<li>The sun has shone all week and been warm and the leaves are comingcoming ecstasy and no rain and colors on the trees yescolors and james joyce can eat his heart out </li>

<p>The bad:
-Organising Earth Week
-Tons more people dying in Iraq while GESO (to whom I've withdrawn my allegiance) whine about their free Yale education. </p>

<p>The ugly:
-The new Pope. </p>

<p>Posted at 12:28 AM EDT | post your comment (0) | link to this post </p>

<p>The Vatican't</p>

<p>Things I don't like about Pope Benedict XVI: </p>

<li><p>He's conservative. I suppose this goes without saying; who honestly thought they were going to pick a radical Cardinal? Are there any radical Cardinals? </p></li>
<li><p>No, but I mean really conservative. Since 1981, his post as Cardinal was "overseeing Church doctrine and punishing those who go astray (AP)." In fact, he helped turn Catholics against Kerry last fall. </p></li>

<p>I hereby blame thee, brave new Pope
For the reelection of a Dope. </p>

<li><p>He picked a bad name. Unlike the last Pope, there are no Beatles in his name. There are eggs and traitors in his name. I like eggs. Traitors...not so much. </p></li>
<li><p>He picked a bad number. I guess that comes with the name. I can look at "II" and know it means "two." When I see "XVI," I have to stop and think a bit. I'm just not a math person, and I doubt all that many devout Catholics are either. I think I'll just go ahead and say it "Ex-Vee-Eye." I used to do that with Louis the Fourteenth. Louis Ex-Eye-Vee. Then I got to college... </p></li>
<li><p>He is German. I was hoping they would pick someone from the developing world. I'm not really sure why; it's not like Catholicism is developing. Ouch, I'm going to get slammed for that...oh wait, no one reads this! </p></li>
<li><p>Um, not to be bitter, but...IkindofwantedtobePope.


<p>I've got a kid in college on the other coast, his other options were 6 hours away by car, so, as I frequently remind my wife, 6 hours by jet isn't really much different.</p>

<p>I was talking about this separation thing with a wise, older friend, who told me that when her kids moved off to college, she told herself that she'd still be seeing a lot of them, keeping in touch, visiting campus from time to time, and that, in short, things weren't really changing; however, looking back (she's about 75) she realizes that things really were changing, that was exactly when they left the nest. It's ok, this is what we raise them to do. Denial helps, but only for a while, to get through the changes.</p>

<p>I was lucky enough to work at Vassar for a number of years, and still visit friends up there regularly. It's a wonderful, beautiful place. People are friendly and welcoming, just what you'd wish for your kid.</p>