Thursday, August 19, 2010

Allie Pleiter on Launching

“T minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6...."

It’s launch-month at our house. As if we didn’t have enough chaos already.

When I planned to have my children four years apart, I thought I was so clever. Such a nice age span between them. My four year old daughter was a delight--even if an enthusiastic one--helping with her new baby brother. I’d counted on that.

I hadn’t figured on this year’s double-whammy of double-graduations and double-launches. This spring, we graduated one from middle school and one from high school--within two weeks of each other. And now, we’re launching a pair of freshmen--one high school and one off to college. Some days it feels like I’m flinging my babies into an unknown future. Most days, though, I’m excited for the adventures ahead of them and gratified to know they both seem ready for the new season of their lives. Of our lives. One vital portion of our parenting is coming to an end. Wow.

Still, I realize they’re not leaving me (well, one of them is going halfway across he country, but you know what I mean). I’m launching them. I hope this viewpoint keeps me from being one of those moms who sobs the whole drive back from dropping off my daughter at college. (Yes, I realize I might post next month about how I really did sob--then I’ll publicly eat my words). I’ll probably sniffle a bit, but I’m more excited than mournful. She’s off to a new world that’s far from me and then again not far at all. After all, I suspect I’ll get three texts the first day. If not four. If not Skyped. Technology means I’ll never be far from my daughter’s ear nor she mine if she needs me.

I’d like to think she won’t need me much. I’ve tried to parent with the constant notion that my goal here is to create an independent, competent adult. One that hopefully lands a job and gets her own apartment after graduation (who knew that’d be such a rare instance these days??). One who loves to come back and visit because she knows she is welcome and loved and accepted. And won’t mind that her mom has probably turned her room into a knitting studio...not that I’m making plans or anything. Not that her brother’s thrilled to have a bathroom that will no longer be filled with hair care products and misplaced earrings.

So readers, what about you? Who are you launching these days? How are you feeling about it?

7 comments:

  1. I'm with you Allie. Launching my daughter to nursing school. I'm getting a little weepy, but she's not going far. I'm excited to see how much she grows and matures into an independent woman.

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  2. My next post you'll read about my launching my son to kindergarten.

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  3. My two year old grandson is going to preschool!

    You know, you think you get past all those launchings when the kids get graduated and married but no....

    Peace, Julie

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  4. That's right, Julie. Allie just thinks she's launched her daughter. Sorry, Allie, they come back-so no, you've gone up another step but not launched completely.

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  5. Oh, Lyn, leave me my optimism while I'm paying all this tuition! By the way, they passed out tissues at parents' orientation this morning....talk about setting a girl up for an emotional scene...

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  6. LOL! Well, I can say that I feel like I'm re-launching every fall when I send my son back to college. It's tough each time. But each time I recover a bit more quickly and get excited for him to be back where he belongs--and where he'd very happy.

    Next year, I'll be launching my middle child closer to high school graduation and my "baby" to high school. All very exciting!

    Allie, that's cute about the Kleenex! You know, after the 2-day orientation for my son--and all the dinners and programs and hoopla of dropping off the freshmen--the schedule gave an actual time that said it was time for parents to say goodbye and leave. I guess it was for those moms like me who had a hard time driving away and were sorely tempted to hang around and maybe enroll in a class or two. LOL

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  7. Had to come back and tell you I didn't cry at all when we said our goodbyes. She was so ready. And we'd spent two days doing all the send-off stuff (including watching hoards of money fly out of our wallets) so we were ready. When she calls with her first crisis, well, I'll let you know. But I'm glad to report it was a very good, very satisfying launch. Of course, knowing I'm back in October for parents' weekend made it easier, too :)

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