Sad in August

 

Tiffany Jobe, Editor

The Ashland Beacon

 

   I remember 1996 quite fondly. High school graduation. Summer was extra sweet that year with newfound freedom, but I couldn’t wait for college in the fall. The promise of a future that was my very own. I laughed at my mother when she would get teary-eyed with the thought of me being gone.

   Remember in my last column, I said things always come full circle. Here we are again.

   In just a couple of weeks, very short ones I am sure, I will be taking my daughter to college. I know what you are thinking. I look way too young to have a daughter in college and this must be some sort of misprint, but it is not. Anyways, I digress.

   I thought that I would struggle more with her high school graduation ceremony, but that was a breeze. And that’s how I knew I would end up being sad in August, when she would leave, making everything real.

   I know I am probably preachin’ to the choir, so to speak, when I talk about how surreal it is to be able to remember the same moments in your life as your young adult child lives theirs. My daughter and I have now completed the same elementary, middle, and high schools together. We have walked across the same stage at graduation.

   All these times my mom said “you’ll understand someday when you’re a parent.”

   I understand.

   When I wasn’t living at home, I understand now why when my mom recognized my scent on a sweater of mine it made her cry. Now I am certain my days are coming. I find myself already missing her.

   But as hard as it is to let her go, I am so excited to watch her spread her wings. It is exciting to watch her develop her own sense of self and start to find her path in this world. I try to offer advice; things I wish I had done, things I wish I hadn’t, but at the end of the day it is solely up to her on whether she takes it. She’s an adult now. I must constantly remind myself that she needs to make mistakes and grow from them just the same as I did. All the above is a hard pill to swallow when it is your own child.

   Even through all this sad talk, there is some silver lining. Not only is it a new level of freedom for her, it’s a new freedom for me! It is the first time in 18 years that I have not been completely responsible for her as my daughter. It makes me look forward to the friendship I know she and I will be able to have as adults, just as my mom and I do now.

   So here’s to all the parents of college freshman who will also be sad in August. Hug them tight if they will let you, and then let them run off into the college sunset. You have an empty room you can put a treadmill in now!

 


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