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The Second Leaves Home


By Betsy Muse - Posted on 16 August 2013

Emily's dorm roomTwo years ago I wrote about our oldest daughter, Katie, heading off to college. Today is my first day living in an empty nest. Emily, our youngest, moved into her dorm yesterday at East Carolina University. I was surprised to see how much less she carried off to school than many of the other kids. I hope she has everything she needs.

Like Katie, she's on orders to call when she wants to talk or if she needs anything, but not to feel obligated to check in on a certain schedule.

Having my girls away from home is terribly hard for me. I've enjoyed every minute of being their mom and while that relationship hasn't ended, these wonderful changes aren't always so wonderful for mom and dad.

Both of our daughters are kind, compassionate, respectful, creative, intelligent and loving. I would keep them with me forever if I could. We raised them to be independent and to enjoy life's adventures. That won't happen if they lodge here with dear old mom and dad.

Today she's with her Honor's College friends working on service projects in small groups. Some of them are building Habitat for Humanity homes, others are working on projects at a science museum and Emily's group is kayaking down a river to clean up trash along the banks. I'm dying to know how it is going, but I won't be THAT mom. I know how to cut the apron strings...and it is killing me!

The good news, is Katie called yesterday and invited me to Chapel Hill to see her first apartment and to bring her a few things from home. I'm headed up Sunday and can't wait. I remember this time in my life and I'm just happy Katie wants me to visit. She's fiercely independent, so I'm really quite pleased with the invitation.

Today, though, I'm a bit weepy. All last year Emily would text around 3:35 letting me know she was on the way home. I won't get that text today and I'm just going to have to wait for her to fill me in on her day...or week. I survived it two years ago and I'll survive it now, but damn it's hard!
 

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