Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | August 19, 2016

College Move in Day And This Father’s Struggle to Let Go

Well today is the day.  Today is the future.  It is the time I have written about so many times.  The day I have dreaded and looked forward to equally as much.  It is the reason I am so stressed, so angry, so sad, so happy, and so scared.  It is the day a father lets go and sees if his teachings, his advice, and his love was enough.  

It is college move in day.


Today we take her and move her into her dorm room.  Well really it is not just a room, it is a home.  A place where she will make her own decisions, her own adult decisions!


 She’s 19 now and calling her an adult is still weird.  She is my little girl not my little adult!  She is the little girl who I watched learn to crawl, take her first steps, and say her first words; DA DA!  She is the little girl who held my hand while walking, the little girl I carried to bed when she was tired, and the little girl I protected from the bogeymen.  She is the little girl who I taught how to ride a bike, taught to enjoy scary movies, taught how to properly scare a person, and helped teach to drive.  She is my little girl!  


Now I have to let go of that little girl and let her become an adult.  Those are some of the toughest words a father will ever say about their children, “I have to let them go.”  For me it has been so tough that I have fought in anger with my own emotions about it.  When I would think about it I fought back the tears and the possibility of it really happening.  I fought it so much and so hard that my stress levels, along with my blood pressure, went through the roof.  This last month I have been angry beyond all belief, so much so my wife and kids seem to take the brunt of it and without knowing why.  I couldn’t tell them that I was so mad at something that I knew one day would happen and was part of life. 


 All parents have to let their children go at some point and I know that but the reality of it being so close was infuriating.  As a father you tell yourself; “I have 18 years of this.”  “They’re only in elementary school.”  “They still got 4 years of high school left.”  “Well at least we have the summer before college starts.”  But it all goes by so fast, so so fast!


It seemed so silly to be so angry at life and knowing that I was going to have to let go, but I couldn’t stop the anger.  I am embarrassed that my family had to endure my drop of the hat anger moments and I owe them an apology and they will get one.  I am not happy about it but feel like whoever reads this and feels this way when it is their time, that maybe they will feel better understanding they are not alone in that feeling.  

  

So we have to let go but the question is; how do we do it?  How do we not blow up their phone with text messages asking how they are and if they are ok?  How do we not fill their email up with messages wondering how their day went?  How do we not call them every single day just to hear their voice on the other end?  How?


Well I am going to tell you what this father is going to do and hopefully it works.  First, I am going to put on a brave face to mask the anger, anxiety, stress, nervousness, and fear I am feeling.  Second, I am going to help her move in and set up her part of the dorm room the way she wants it so she will be the most comfortable.  We will talk, laugh, and enjoy the time spent with each other.  Third, I am going to tell her how proud of her I am and how much I love her.  Last, I am going to hug her tightly, tell her good bye, and let go.  This will not be easy but it is something I know must happen.  Part of being a father, what I believe is the hardest part, includes the job of letting go, letting their child sprout their wings and become independent.  I am getting angry just writing this and thinking about it.  I don’t want this!  I want to freeze time and just keep everything the way it is right now but I know I can’t and if I could that would just be selfish of me.  Instead I will let go and along with that I will let the anger, stress, sadness, and anxiety all go too.


Today will be seen through watery eyes but felt with great love and joy.  Today I will let my little girl start her adult journey, one that I have no doubt will be filled with adventure, joy, and love.  I want you to spread those wings and fly but know that anytime you need me and for any reason I am just a phone call away.  I will always be there for you.  I want you to know that I am so proud of you and I love you very, very much!  God has blessed me more than I deserve by allowing me to be your father!  I Love You, and I leave you with this:


My Daughter


I look at you and I do not see the passage of time.  I see my little girl playing dress up, running through the yard, playing on a swing.  I will try and respect the fact that you are older now and that the decisions you will make are your own, but you must understand that to me, you will always be my little girl.  I may not be able to carry you in my arms anymore, but I will always carry you in my heart.


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