I watched, amused, as the young man spoke through gritted teeth, “Just take the picture!” This man-child had his arm around his mother’s shoulders while his father snapped a picture saying, “You don’t start college every day, you know. Smile.” The younger man sighed with exasperation and walked briskly away, “No more pictures!”
This scene repeated itself across the campus as sentimental parents moved their children into dorm rooms. The parents around me reluctantly pushed their offspring out of the nest even as the children were delighted to test their wings at last.
I too watched, misty eyed, as my daughter Elizabeth waved me off without the tiniest shred of ambivalence. I was grieving even as my daughter was celebrating. For me, a life chapter was ending; for Elizabeth, a new chapter shimmered enticingly before her. What would my new chapter look like?
The next day she called me, not to tell me she was homesick but to share her excitement. As we chatted, I didn’t notice any of the ‘quit bugging me’ mentality that had shaded our interactions over the last few years. In fact, I found her quite likeable . . . as if she was a new friend. Hmmmm. I think I’m going to like this new chapter, afterall.
Expcerpted from the Newsletter,
Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW is the author of