For the last few weeks (and longer, at a less-frenzied pace), we have been preparing in our family for the upcoming sending-Katie-off-to-college. I think that I have been so busy with that and preoccupied with other things that I haven't really had the opportunity (perhaps I haven't allowed it too strongly) to really ponder the long-term ramifications of doing so. I have been able to consider it happily enough. I don't think I've been as teary-eyed about it as I would have expected, or as other mothers I know are. But I'm not sure whether it's because I'm in denial or because I have been working toward this goal in an inward way for such a long time. I know these mothers trust the same God and Savior that I do, so that's not the difference.
I see Katie receiving all sorts of wonderfully worded sentiments from friends, some even younger than she is (such as her friend Haley). Not being an extremely sentimental sort (well, at least, I'm inconsistently sentimental), I am envious that they were able to express themselves so beautifully and profoundly to her, while I don't do so much of that sort. Why so inadequate in these ways, I don't know. What kind of mother am I, I wonder.
I know I will miss her. Our family will hardly be the same. Katie and I discuss things between us in such a way that we don't with anyone else. That will be the worst part for me. She also accommodates my forgetfulness and stupidity about daily details so that things don't get overlooked, and I know my stupidity will show much more once she's gone. Sigh. She also influences our family for good, in how we eat and exercise (always wanting more success in that arena!).
Yet I am delighting in sending her along, because from the time she was little I have been pouring the ability to learn into her being, and she has learned to love learning. That is better than the pouring in of facts, and I haven't yet succeeded with Tim in this endeavor. Katie was a willing and curious learner all along, and easily directed. It will be exciting to see that more fully developed and utilized in the college environment.
I'm going to miss the comraderie we have between us. We have spent much time together, and know so many little things about each other that others don't; often we come up with the same thought at the same time, the same silly answer to a remark, the same concern over one absent at the same time. It's not just a little scary to think that with homeschooling, perhaps I have influenced her in such a way that she has become a younger version of me. May God be gracious to her in this regard, and may she develop more of her own way, more of her own interests and friends. I am eager considering this to see where He takes her and how much more of her beauty and interest will shine through in a way that had not yet been developed--sort of like a rough stone gone through a tumbler.
I'm also aware that we will still be able to communicate--daily if needed--by way of e-mail, telephone, internet webcam--and that in an emergency I could fly down or she could fly home. Not being one to worry much, and knowing that she goes to a protected environment, I don't lose sleep over it. God is great, and because of His great love for her and capacity to protect her better than I can, there's no hesitation. I know that she faces no greater danger at college than at home.
Still, when we drop her off, I'm bringing kleenex. We have six new boxes of it ready at home.