I was looking forward to this day (and slightly dreading it) all summer, and no matter how much I thought about it and prayed about it, I don't think a parent can ever really be fully prepared for what it feels like to send their baby off to college. Fortunately, it was a very busy day, so there wasn't time to let the emotions take over until it came time to say goodbye. But the other children had to say goodbye the night before....we had them all stay overnight with friends and just hubby and I took our girl to school the next morning.
Loaded up and ready to go!
When we got there we discovered that her room-mate's family had already spent a considerable amount of time figuring out the best configuration for the furniture. Daughter G approved, and so unpacking and decorating could commence immediately! Dad tested the bed to make sure it was good enough for his girl. :)
They have a lot of closet space!
With a fridge, couch, and TV, they may end up being the party room. ;)
After unpacking, it was time for the prayer of dedication and farewell ceremony on the college square. All the freshmen are placed in small groups that they eat with during orientation, do activities with, and even have one class together fall semester. Here daughter G was finding her group for the first time (she has since begun making solid friendships with several girls in her group! Yay!).
The freshmen stood in a big circle with their parents behind them, and participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony. Each freshman got a piece of this ribbon. When they graduate they will do the same thing with a long string of ivy, and each graduate will get a piece of the ivy. A really nice "book end" tradition.
Then it was time to say goodbye. :(
Such an odd assortment of emotions for us as parents....excitement for our girl... gratitude that she is at the college God has chosen for her, and that God is making a way for us to afford it...sorrow at not being able to see her every day...regret that the years of hands on parenting are over (did we do enough? did we teach her everything she needs to know?)...acknowledgement of the fact that we are moving into a new phase of parenting where we have much less control...joy that she has owned her faith and can move confidently into this next stage of her life.....
Personally, I cried as much for the release of these emotions as I did just for saying goodbye. It was a bit overwhelming!
After being there two days she called. We talked for a long time. :) She is doing GREAT and had so much to share about her experiences during freshman orientation so far. I am a happy mama!