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20 September 2015 @ 11:29 pm
I'm back from driving our oldest down to college, which was as hard as everyone said it would be.

Despite being excited for this all summer, when it came time to leave she was more sad than anything—and for parents, it's all just heartache. You spend 18 or so years preparing your child for this, but the reality is that after this, it's just never quite the same. We're going from seeing our daughter every (or almost every) day to months of absence, and it's as if there's a giant hole in our lives now. There will be visits around holidays, but she won't really live at home anymore, and one summer she'll get a job and not come back, slipping farther away.

Really, even with years of knowing this was coming, one of the first thoughts that arises is, "How did it all go by so fast?" It seems as if we were just bringing her home from the hospital the other day, and now she's gone.

They're keeping the freshmen very busy at UC San Diego with lots of welcoming activities to distract and entertain them, and get them acquainted with the campus. Our daughter is having a blast, and probably not missing us much right now.

But we're grieving. That's the only way I can really describe it-- there's such an enormous sense of loss, and of knowing that part of her life with us has ended. And in two years, we'll go through this all over again with her brother.

I just hope he gets accepted at UC Berkeley, which is much closer than San Diego. The drive back was nine very long hours, and that was with bypassing rush hour at both ends. Alternating bouts of teariness with combating leg cramps and smacking myself in the face to stay awake is not the kind of experience I'm in a hurry to repeat. Let's hope we can find cheap airplane tickets for visits in both directions—at least San Diego is a reasonably major airport.

It's not all doom and gloom around here, and I'm feeling better than I was last week. But I know this will take awhile.

Those of you who sent me supporting messages last week, thank you. They really helped. ♥

Port: amy and riverdesertport on September 21st, 2015 07:34 am (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 22nd, 2015 12:15 am (UTC)
Thank you. It's been rough. :(
Kizzyxo_kizzy_xo on September 21st, 2015 08:39 am (UTC)

Another friend of mine dropped off her daughter not too long ago...she hasn't written much about it other than to say that "the house is very very VERY quiet" now. I can imagine it but then again I can't. But yeah, it must be difficult.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 22nd, 2015 12:16 am (UTC)
It's just so sad and empty, even with the other child still here and as noisy as ever (noisy enough for three kids).
ecosopherecosopher on September 21st, 2015 09:42 am (UTC)
Oh, I can only imagine. And it IS a huge deal. I remember going away to boarding school and not really realising at the time how it was going to change things. I'm sure my parents did, though.

Big hugs.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 22nd, 2015 12:18 am (UTC)
I think my side of when I went to college was mostly "Lalalala, I'm free!" and I never thought about what it might have been like for my parents. I wasn't the first for my dad (he had three older kids from a previous marriage), but I was the first for my mom. My interactions with here were actually one of the reasons I was eager to leave. Things are better now.
Vice Captain of the Universesweeny_todd on September 21st, 2015 10:58 am (UTC)
just sending you hugs *hugs*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 22nd, 2015 12:19 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. *hugs back*
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on September 21st, 2015 01:59 pm (UTC)
Hugs. It is a major change for all of you. I remember when our daughter left for the Coast Guard. It took a while to develop new routines and get used to setting three plates instead of four. Take your time.

For plane tickets, check Southwest. Sign up on their website since they offer sales every so often.

San Diego is a great city with lots to do. We enjoy the museums and Scripps Aquarium.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 22nd, 2015 12:20 am (UTC)
Once they go off to the adult world, it's never really the same. I think it's probably not a big deal for her brother (they do not get along terribly well), but it's a huge deal for the parents!

Southwest and Alaska are on my list of fare-watching opportunities, which used to be mostly relegated to Portland (where my sisters are). I sure hope flights to San Diego get cheaper.
cindytsuki_no_bara on September 22nd, 2015 02:56 am (UTC)
the image of you smacking yourself in the face to stay awake while driving made me giggle, and then i felt bad. because i can just imagine how hard it must be when your first kid goes off to college. *hugs*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 22nd, 2015 04:25 am (UTC)
It isn't the first time I've had to resort to that to try to stay awake. Boy, I hate that-- I don't know what brings that doziness on. Though in 9 hours of driving, I suppose it's bound to happen sometime!

It was really nice to be the one who took her to college, though leaving her was hard. But I got a few extra quality days with her, too.
Entendre? Make mine a double.: holding handsdeirdre_c on September 22nd, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC)
I feel your pain. My heart still hurts every day. :(
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 22nd, 2015 05:09 pm (UTC)
:( And yours was last year! But still-- it's never the way it was when they were still at home. I think it'll probably be years after the last one is gone that we can ever really feel "adjusted" to that.

bleodswean: crafty mommableodswean on September 22nd, 2015 08:59 pm (UTC)
*HUGS* It's insanely sad. And joyous. It's just ridiculously EMOTIONAL and you have to allow yourself to be a conduit for all this waterfall of feeling.

Sometimes I miss them so much I literally cannot breathe.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 22nd, 2015 09:04 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I miss them so much I literally cannot breathe.

Yes-- it's just this visceral ache. I'm thrilled for her, and I know she will have a wonderful time (she already is), but it so hurts to have her gone. :(
Laura: Neal Peter shoulderscookielaura on September 23rd, 2015 03:18 am (UTC)
Sending you lots of hugs. Hope it gets easier soon x
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 23rd, 2015 06:19 am (UTC)
Thank you. Me too. *hugs*
Ravensxeraven on September 27th, 2015 03:24 am (UTC)
*hugs* I'm on the daughter end of things, I lived at home for a long, long time, and just this past May I moved out, I didn't just move out--I moved out of state, halfway across the country.

it's weird being away from home. My mom is one of my best friends. I miss her. I e-mail her, but it's not the same. I don't get to cook with her on weekends, and I don't get to just go downstairs when want to see her.

I can't imagine it's any nicer for her, she's got an empty nest for the first time, really. My brother moved out when he got married years ago. I was just there. *L* And now I'm gone, too.

I'm sure she misses you too. I know I miss my mom.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 27th, 2015 06:35 am (UTC)
Oh, gosh-- half a country a way! That must be hard on you both.

That incidental time to just be together... that's what you notice most, when it's gone. :(
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on October 2nd, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
Late to the party, but grieve for what's gone and remember that it's leaving a space for the amazing things that will come next.

(and tell me your secret. MINE WON'T GO)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 5th, 2015 05:11 pm (UTC)
It's been hard-- I can't seem to rationalize away the moodiness over it all.

I don't know how to get Stewart out! Our oldest has always been very independent, so I had no doubts about her. The youngest, though... he may be showing signs of rebelling/adulthood in the last 4-5 months (he's 16 now), but prior to that I wondered if we'd have to shoehorn him out of the house. Possibly still might! :O
angels3angels3 on November 12th, 2015 04:18 am (UTC)
I hope things have improved a little in the grieving process. I have two that have left home, they didn't go away to college so I did get to see them a little more often. Even though it's sad, it's also freeing in a way because you can start to do things for you again. Of course I know you still have one at home so you still have some time to do things with him.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 12th, 2015 05:54 am (UTC)
It's definitely better than it was, though we still miss her a lot. But I can stand to go into her room, and there isn't that constant, gnawing sense of emptiness because she's gone.

It still seems like it all went by much too fast, though, and I'm probably mourning that too.

Thanks for the kind words-- they do help.