In one week from right now we will, all eight of us, will be on the road to take our oldest across the country and off to college. She is going where she has always wanted to go, where I went. She has a full-tuition scholarship for the upcoming school year. She will finally get to escape this small town and be among “her people” (you know: bright, deep thinking, Harry-Potter-loving, book-reading, intellectual, testimony-driven people). I am beyond proud of her, and beyond thrilled for her. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I am even a little bit jealous of her.
And yet? My heart is breaking. I can’t sleep because I keep thinking about dropping her off and driving away, and I wonder if I’ve done a good enough job as her mother. I worry that I haven’t. I have so many hopes for her and this new school year, this brand new book in the series of her life, and I hope I’ve prepared her well.
I hope she will find good friends quickly.
I hope she will enjoy her classes (for the most part).
I hope she will learn more than she imagined possible, both in the classroom and out.
I hope she has a testimony that is as strongly rooted as I think it is.
I hope she turns to God for advice and comfort more than she turns to Alubus Dumbledore (wise though he is).
I hope she will be able to forgive me as time and distance give her a greater perspective on and understanding of my imperfections as a mother.
I hope she will become more confident.
I hope she will realize how truly amazing she is.
I hope she will remain humble, even in the face of that realization.
I hope she will join the quidditch team (because she has wanted to for a long time).
I hope she will study hard and get good grades.
I hope she will have fun.
I hope she will eat healthy, whole foods, even though I won’t be there to make sure she does.
I hope she will always feel welcome and wanted back at home.
I hope she will not worry too much, this year, about what her major should be.
I hope she will discover more of what God has in store for her.
I hope she will be able to be patient with her roommate (having a roommate can be difficult, no matter how great that roommate is).
I hope she will find opportunities to serve those around her.
I hope she gets to date a lot of boys.
I hope she doesn’t get married as a freshman.
I hope she will miss us all, but not too much.
I hope she won’t be too homesick.
I hope she won’t be homesick for too long.
I hope she grows to love the mountains as I did.
I hope she loves the Midwest even more.
I hope she will turn to me when she needs a shoulder to cry on.
I hope she will share her joys with me as well.
I hope she will be patient with me as I learn how to be the parent of an adult (it’s no fair that every new phase of her life has been met by a mother who has no experience with parenting that phase).
I hope she will be successful in her life.
I hope she understands what true success is.
I hope she will be safe.
I hope she will be healthy.
I hope she will be happy.
I hope she will doubt her doubts more than she will doubt her faith.
I hope she will continue to study her scriptures.
I hope she will pray always.
I hope she will continue to foster good relationships with her siblings, in spite of the distance.
I hope she will text or email me lots of pictures.
I hope she will do wacky, fun (but not dangerous or illegal) things.
I hope she will have more happy times than hard times.
I hope she will be able to learn and grow from and through the hard times.
I hope she will not be afraid to be feminine in a world that would have her be fierce.
I hope she will never defer to a boy just because she’s a girl.
I hope she will soak up the sun.
I hope she will start posting on Facebook so that I can follow along on her adventures.
I hope she will go through life knowing how much her mother loves her.
Tewt the Newt has no words.