Well, it's over. Tomorrow we go move Lizzy out of her dorm and home for the summer. Her first year of college is over. She and I were talking about how rough her first semester was and how it now seems years ago. Recently, I took a trip back through my blogs from September and October and relived some of those awful mornings when all I could do was type and try to make sense of the journey.
She's learned a lot since August. So have I.
I learned to step back. Proactive has always been my stance as a mother. Planning, arranging, focusing, - okay, okay - controlling. But Mike and I agreed, that was my job. Did I know everything they did? No, but it wasn't for lack of trying. When Robert turned 18 and headed off to college - I still had two other teenagers to focus on. Plus, Robert wasn't a lot of worry. Ryan, well, he was def more of a worry but he'd learned some lessons in high school and seemed to understand consequences so I pulled my hands away from him, and his facebook, and his everything. Learned to turn a blind eye and deaf ear - as long as no dean or police officer was involved. Even then - he was an adult and deans and police officers would have to be his to deal with. Plus, I still had Lizzy to guide to 18.
And then I didn't. But what an honor to watch her become a young woman, to step away and let her fly. To see her handle mistakes and successes and make big decisions. To drop back into an adviser position - when wanted.
Other jobs may say they are "on the job training" but nothing compares to being a parent for learning as you go. Nothing.