When one door closes…

We’re leaving in a few minutes to my oldest daughter’s school.  Yesterday was Sophie’s ABSOLUTE last day of high school and she was euphoric.  She worked her little butt off and finished a year early and we’re all so proud of her.  This morning, we’re all meeting (both families) for a big celebratory breakfast and then, in a few days, we’ll go out for a fancy dinner.

Mid-June, Sophie leaves for Europe for several months.  She’s going with an older friend who’s more experienced at traveling, they have places to stay with friends all lined up, a chunk of money and a wide-open agenda.  I look at her leaving the nest with a bit of envy, an abundance of pride and a fair amount of wonder at the fact that… she’s going.  She’s aiming herself squarely at the whole big, wide world and I won’t be there to harp on her, remind of anything, fret and fuss over her….

She’s on her own!

Is there even ONE parent out there who sees this happen and feels complete and at peace with the full sum of their parenting?

All we can do is cross our fingers that all goes for the best, be excited for her and all the adventures she’s about to have, including the near-disasters that will make for funny stories later (and that I’ll be glad I’m ignorant of now!) and take comfort in the fact that we’re supporting her in living her dreams.

What doors will be opening for her?  What doors are closing for us as parents?

Make sure to squeeze your kids while you have them around!

© 2008 Jennifer Newcomb Marine All Rights Reserved

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  1. I have no idea what it would be like to see my daughter leave home. My daughter is 5 months old and I miss her when she’d gone for 6 hours to daycare. I hold her tight whenever I can, although she doesn’t seem to like it that much. I’m glad to hear that Sophie is leaving home with a plan. A sudden disappearance would be much more heart-wrenching (and the basis for a classic Beatles tune…). As I told my teenage therapy clients, “you can leave home two ways. One way leaves the door open for you to return, the other way shuts the door. You leave either way; which do you want to choose?”
    It doesn’t seem like many people take off for Europe anymore. My dad, his cousins and most of his friends did it in the early 1960s, but Europe was cheap back then (post-war decimated economy and all). I’ve had great experiences in Europe and I hope Sophie does too.
    I hope that you can enjoy Europe through Sophie’s eyes and the power of technology – digital cameras, blogs, etc.
    Have a great time Sophie!

  2. Hi Jonathan! Nice to hear from you!
    I’m SURE you can’t imagine Emerson leaving home, because you’re dealing with life in infant-time. One hour seems like five (especially in the middle of the night). Three weeks seems like six months. And one session of playing with the baby in your lap can seem like an eternity (a happy one). But… it does go faster! The more independent they become, the more the rest of your life engages you and then… there goes another year.
    True to form, Sophie just wants to “experience” her time in Europe and not take a bunch of pictures, so I may just have to imagine. : )
    Your clients are lucky to have you, you know…
    Thanks for writing and hope to see you soon! A hug and kiss for the family!

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