This fall marked a big milestone in the life of my family, because my older daughter Eliza went off to college -- very bittersweet.
It’s actually been easier than I anticipated, and as much as people criticize technology, I think that technology has made the transition less difficult, for all of us.
Nevertheless, it’s a big change, and I’ve thought a lot about it. And I’ve been comforted by something that happened when Eliza was starting nursery school. All the parents were a little freaked out about “separation,” as they call the process of leaving your child at school, and I was anxious too.
The nursery school director, who is very wise and also had grown children at that time, said to me gently, “This is the first of many times that you will say good-bye to your child.” I’ve thought about that observation many times over the years, and it put this new kind of “separation” into perspective.
When they go off to college is one time, of many times, that I will say good-bye to my children.
If you'd like to read a terrific parenting book written by that wise nursery-school director and her colleague, check out Practical Wisdom for Parents: Raising Self-Confident Children in the Pre-School Years, by Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum.
If you'd like to hear Eliza's 18-year-old perspective on being in college, etc., you can listen to her podcast "Eliza Starting at 16."