Becoming Adept at Biting My Tongue

Two days ago, my daughter and I took off from our Rust Belt home, on the way to SoCal and getting her registered for school.

I’m sure it is easier to launch the space shuttle than it was to get my little birdie into the car.

Regrets? I’m sure she had a few. First off, she’ll be a couple thousand miles or so away from mom and dad and their open pocketbooks. She inherited the spendthrift gene from me, and let’s face it, she’s had a comfortable life. It’s going to be hard for her to keep a budget, although God only knows we’ve been trying to get her to do that the last couple of years. If all else fails, she should do as I did and find herself a mate who is a tightwad (um, I mean thrifty).

She’ll also be a couple thousand miles away from her friends. This includes the current boy du jour. Yes, they are in love. Well, as much in love as a couple of 18 year olds can be. I was half expecting her to back out of moving to California.

It’s not like she’s going to be completely adrift with no friendly faces nearby. Her older brother will be somewhat close by, if you consider a five hour car trip to visit a sibling you’ve been in competition with all your life close. My sister is an hour drive to the south, but Ms. MiniD thinks my sister doesn’t like her. She just doesn’t know that my sister is quite opinionated (like me) and not very laid back (not like me).

The teary goodbye with the boyfriend and the best friend on Wednesday lasted for an hour. I was only moderately annoyed, because I was in tears too. The only way I was able to get her into the car was by flipping the radio over to a classical station and turning it up loud. She got in to change it back to rap-n-crap, and we were on our way.

I tried to talk to Ms. MiniD during the long car ride to the Rockies. You know, say sage nuggets like sure you’ll make new friends, this is a great opportunity for you, you’ll probably have a new boyfriend in a couple of months, etc. Don’t worry. I never got to that point. She did not want to talk, and instead spent a great deal of the time sleeping.

I instead remembered back to when I was 18. I was married. I left home without much fanfare. I don’t remember saying goodbye to my parents, much less to my best friends from high school. One day, I decided it was time to leave my city (having already left my childhood home a few months before that), canceled my lease and my telephone and left. I didn’t have money from my parents, or a credit card, but my own money. A year later, when I “came home” I went to my friend’s house and stayed there until I found an apartment. Later, when I moved to the Tundra to go to college, I was responsible for the tuition, living expenses and trips home to visit mom and dad. Money (or lack of it) was the reason why I didn’t finish college, and it limited my trips home.

My daughter is planning her triumphant Christmas return, even though I have tried to explain to her that we have depleted our resources just getting her to California. If I have to limit my own pleasure trips to the Left Coast because of the money, she will have to bite the bullet and get a job to buy a plane ticket. The days of wine and roses has past, especially with two kids in private college. Besides, if you’re truly an ADULT, you should be able to figure it out on your own.

I still want to say something, but know I shouldn’t do it. She’s not going to listen to me. Kids that age think they know everything. They won’t admit they know nothing until they have their own little birdies.

Instead, I’ve become adept at biting my tongue.

7 Responses

  1. I don’t cry much, but I sure did when my daughter left for college. It did get better though.

    Dr. B

  2. Hardly a day goes by when my wife and I don’t think about our daughter with wonder and appreciation.

    When we were driving her to college (first of several, all moves for reasonable reasons), she looked at her mom and said, “When you were my age, you were pregnant with me. I can’t imagine being pregnant at that age.”

    “Good,” we said, though we were not regretting that my wife had been.

    Life is very random.

  3. ((Pan))
    Some very cool things are going to happen now.

    1) You’re going to get smarter.
    2) The things you do are going to stay done. (I have 3 rooms I don’t touch unless we’re having company.)
    3) You’re household bill are going to go down more than you thought.

    All that said, it also gets very quiet sometimes.

  4. Dr. B, my husband cried too, so I think it’s a dad thing. 🙂

    Mr. Random, life sure is random.

    And Shawn, I already have big plans with my house and my life. For some reason, none of those plans include children. I should feel guilty, but I don’t. I gave them 18 of the best years of my life.

  5. It doesn’t surprise me that she is already thinking of when she comes home at Christmas (or whenever it really does happen). When my son left for college, he did the same thing and he couldn’t stand being away from home for that long so he ended up coming home twice between September and Christmas and the girls and I ended up driving up to see him twice in that time, too. Over the four years he was there, he had to see us about every four to six weeks! We’d go up or he’d come down. I think I cried all the way home after dropping him off and it was a seven hour drive!

    I agree with Shawn that you’ll get smarter but it won’t happen for a while. By spring time, you’ll be a genius, though!

  6. Sometimes I wish I’d gone to college farther from home. This is one of those times. I don’t think I could have enjoyed it more, but I’m fairly sure I would have appreciated a little extra distance.

  7. I have become adept at not killing my son. Often I long for the day when he goes to college. With my luck, he’ll stay local and live with me.

    Can you tell that school has started back up and we’re bickering 24/7 again?

    I am not pro-teenager today.

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