Heading to college a bittersweet occasion for all

3 Sep

It’s been very quiet around our house for the last few days.  On Saturday morning my husband and I dropped Erin, our youngest, off at St. John Fisher College — a major milestone for her AND for us.  And despite how excited we all were to see the day arrive, it was a very bittersweet event.  Because no matter how excited you are to finally be out on your own, it’s a bit scary when it happens. And no matter how much you’re looking forward to empty-nesting, it’s sad when it happens.

I’ve been struggling to find the right way to put these feelings into words, and then remembered a letter my mother wrote to me my first week of college. She must have sat down immediately after returning home to write it and put it in the mail. She knew I would already be homesick, and she knew that laughter was the best medicine.  It made me laugh till I cried, and I needed to do both.

It was perfect, and I am pleased to share it with you all, and especially with those parents who have just sent your sons and daughters off to school:

Dear Missy:

Oh, I’m so glad you’re settled, temporarily, at least.  And of course I’m not WORRIED about you. You’re a big girl now!!!

(Did you find anything to eat, and where to go for supper? Do you have a comfortable bed? Did you stay warm last night? If it’s hot, will you have enough breeze? Do you like your roommates in the barracks? Do you know your way around? Do you have enough money? Will you have room enough for your clothes?)

Gee, we’ll miss you. I was just saying to your sister when we were taking your bed down, “Gee, I’ll miss that girl.”  She said, “Who?”  I’ll remind her again while we’re out tomorrow putting the ad in the Pennysaver for your dresser and your bicycle.

The neighbor lady loves your new sweater.

Love, Ma

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