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I remember being in high school, and having such intense feelings about my accomplishments, my setbacks and my relationships.  The world could be the most amazing place, and the place I wanted to escape more than anything, all in one day.  As crazy as those ups and downs were to experience, they were nothing compared to watching your child go through them.  It’s twice as euphoric, and twice as painful.

My daughter is almost 18, and has been making some very difficult and important decisions for her life.  She is so much smarter than I was at 18.  She can see the big picture, and knows what she needs to do in order to make the most of her life.  In this case it means going to college all the way across the country.  Such a difficult and brave decision.  She has to say goodbye to family, friends and even a boyfriend.  She has already begun to say some of these goodbyes.  She and her boyfriend decided to break up now, rather than wait a few months down the road when they will physically be parting.  I realize that this must be excruciating for her.  I want to be mommy and kiss it and make it better like I used to,  but I know this will no longer do the trick.  So I gave her the one thing that makes me feel even just a little better in bad times.  A little retail therapy.

I know what you might be thinking... buying things is not the answer.  What am I teaching her?  I thought about that too. But it’s not really about the things in the brightly colored shopping bags that we were collecting that day.  It was about the conversations in the car to and from the mall, which is a good 45 minutes from my house.  It was about laughing at the clothes we both found ugly, and the excitement we felt when we found that cute pair of jeans in her size.  It was the anticipation we both felt about her going to college when we talked about what kinds of clothes she will wear when she starts school in the Fall.  The shopping isn’t an answer or a fix, but for this day, it helped us both feel a little better.

I can’t believe my daughter is turning 18, and will soon be off to college.  She is one of the very best parts of my life, and I would do anything for her. Even let her go.  I will be there whenever she needs me, and we can take on all of life’s troubles, one shopping trip at a time.




Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda L wrote Feb 21, 2012
    • Great blog!  My daughter is 20 and attends a nearby arts college.  School housing is not affordable so she commutes from home. She is also the wonderful part of my life, and I would do anything for her. I’m enjoying her company now, but one day soon she will leave to be on her own. It’ll hurt, but I know we’ll be there for each other and on occassion she’ll be my shopping partner.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Feb 21, 2012
    • My daughter was a senior last year, so I know what you‘re going thru.  It’s so sweet and so hard watching them spread their wings.

      Mine has chosen not to continue her education, which was hard for me to accept at first, but I understand her reasons.  She’s thought it thru and so I applaud her because she’s making her own way in the world with no help from her dad or me.

      I always find a day trip somewhere for shopping or whatever is the best way to get my girls to open up and talk.  Something about 150 miles in the car, one on one, gets them started talking.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Trishski wrote Feb 21, 2012
    • Thanks ladies.  It’s so nice to know, and talk to other people who have been through this.  It’s not easy to let go, but it’s pretty important to.  :)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Feb 21, 2012
    • The hard part for me really is watching them struggle with wanting to be independent but still wanting momma to take care of it. It would be so easy to say let me fix it for you. So when they struggle I struggle too.......

      Now I gotta run to Target!



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