Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Higher education and the function of parents.
Imagine my surprise when my daughters had the audacity to turn 18 this past August, without asking for permission or anything. Not that it was that much of a shock, I guess. They’d been threatening to do it all year, and had lobbed reminders at me, nearly daily. They each programmed their cell phone to count down the days.
With the whole ‘turning 18’ thing, came the incredible task of getting Offspring #2 ready for university. (Offspring #1 decided to put off the advanced education thing until next September, thereby staving off the onset of my empty nest syndrome. Very kind of her.)
So, Offspring #2 is now suitably ensconced in residence at Brock University. (Which, I discovered during the campus tour last spring, has a Oenology Degree available. Had I known that, 20 years ago, I’d have followed a vastly different career path. Who knew such a thing even existed? However, I’d probably need a liver transplant about now, so maybe things happened for the best.)
It’s a strange thing, as a mother, sending one of your offspring out into the world. If you look at it, intellectually, it’s a sign that you’ve done your job right. The function of a parent is to grow these little darlings up into people that become valuable members of society. So, when a child goes off to university, you should greet it with the proper aplomb and ceremony. Yeah…
As the days (and now weeks) passed by, I became more sure of my ability to survive this next step in parenting. I’m becoming more sure of her abilities to survive and grow outside of my direct line of vision. She’s doing laundry; she’s eating the right things, getting to bed at a fairly reasonable hour. She’s making friends, and going to classes on time. All the things I’d make sure she was doing. I’m proud of her.
Offspring #1 remains at home, for now. She’s learning from her sister, how difficult it is to go out on your own. I’m glad that she’s decided not to go away yet, and I hope I’ll be ready when it comes time for her to go. #1 consents to give me hugs when I need them (she’s not the huggiest person in the world, not sure how that happened), and we’re helping each other through this. (She’d like people to think she’s the strong one, but... I think she’s pretty mushy inside, actually)
So far, this milestone in parenting has gone ok.
So... suck on that.