Re-launch Thread

<p>I've been reading the threads on first-year launches, with a mixture of poignant memories, chuckles of recognition, and reflections on how far we've come. For 2nd-, 3rd-, and 4th-year parents, how have your launches evolved?</p>

<p>This morning D left for her junior year. My part ended with getting her onto a 6 a.m. flight. She doesn't need us to move her in; she had stored most of her stuff for the summer, and she and her friends will have fun helping each other get settled. As we pulled out of the driveway in the pre-dawn, she said, "Well, that went smoothly!" I feel like we've FINALLY figured this out. Lessons learned:</p>

<p>Trust the kid. I am still learning to give her credit for being able to plan, remember, and think things through.</p>

<p>Stay out of the kid's hair. One thing I did differently last night and this morning: I didn't keep saying, "Do you need me to do anything?" She already knows I'll help if asked, and repeated offers of assistance only add to the noise in her head.</p>

<p>Don't sweat the small stuff. After she boarded the plane, she texted me, "I knew I forgot something. I left my pillow!" I replied, "I guess you'll be stopping at KMart on the way from the airport :)." Two years ago, this would have been a crisis. Today, she lol-ed. Perspective is a wonderful thing.</p>

<p>It gets easier. For the first time, this felt routine in a way I never could have imagined two years ago. She was calm when packing yesterday, there were no last-second trips to the store, we knew when to leave this morning, where to park, the exact location of the Starbucks in Terminal B. Sadness and apprehension did not hang over the house last night, and there was no weeping at the airport this morning. But...</p>

<p>The pangs don't go away. I got misty as I watched her plane take off and turn eastward. DH's pang came with the one-word text he received late this afternoon: "Home!"</p>

<p>Im all misty-eyed. It is difficult to step back and let them be in charge of their own life, accepting the fact that we are diminishing our roles in their lives. It's all bittersweet, after all, didnt everything we carefully planned for them, lead them where they are today? Aren't they suppose to fly? For some kids, launching is smooth and others have some false starts and setbacks. But isnt is a surprise when it all comes together. My D is a senior and this is the first summer she has not been around. Living in her off campus apartment, working, not many hours, but trying to do it all on her own. Sometimes H and I dont give her enough credit. Seems like we are waiting or expecting her to fail at something, maybe its because we can sometimes feel forgotton or left out, but that really isnt fair. They are only doing what we have been trying to teach them since they were babies and that is, to be independent. Thank you for reminding me, of what involved and mindful parenting is and what it can do for our kids. I'm smiling now!</p>

Stay out of the kid's hair. One thing I did differently last night and this morning: I didn't keep saying, "Do you need me to do anything?"

Great advice. I wonder when my dh will ever realize this. He was getting on d3's last nerve as she packed her car, but - and here's something else that never would have happened three years ago - she bit her tongue.</p>

<p>This was a tough college launch for me because it's the very last one, after 11 years of sending 3 kids off/back to school. D3 drove the 560 miles to school herself, which she hasn't done before, and I was mentally driving it with her ("She should be past Scranton by now...").</p>

<p>Cheers to all of us re-launching parents!</p>