Thursday, June 25, 2015

A daughter departing

Our older daughter is going to nanny school. She and I fly out tomorrow (Friday).

It's been painful for Don and I to watch her get ready to go. We will we miss her bitterly. I also worry about her. Not because of her -- she's sensible, moral, grounded, and intelligent -- but I worry about all the unavoidable circumstances she'll be facing in the big wide world. I know, I know -- I'm just being a mama grizzly bear about it, but still....

On Monday she packed a box with bedding, personal affects, and some of the odds and ends the nanny school requires her to bring (including a favorite children's book). That box has arrived at the school and is waiting for us.

On Tuesday, Don took his oldest girl out on a date. They went canoeing, and he gave her a small gift he had made for her (which I promised not to show on the blog).

They saw many lovely sights on the lake, including this beaver lodge...

...calm water through the marshes...

...and endless lily pads.

On Tuesday I took her to a self-defense class for a little weapon called a Kubotan. Here she learned various techniques to defend herself with this lethal little stick.

We've spent the rest of the week tying up loose ends, doing laundry, packing the single carry-on suitcase we're permitted, making goodbyes, and freaking out. (Okay, maybe I'm projecting.)

Despite the emotional repercussions, in all other respects we couldn't be more pleased with the life into which Older Daughter is launching herself. As a certified credentialed nanny, she has many job opportunities before her. As part of the school-required contract, she will receive all live-in expenses as well as a minimum guaranteed yearly salary, will have full medical/dental coverage, and start her adult life with no debt. Her future positions may also include domestic or international travel. All in all it's not a bad position for a 19-year-old to be in.

Still, it's tough saying goodbye...


  1. Patricia - We are still two years away from the start of this event and I am already dreading the day. I wonder if you can ever really be ready.

  2. It is hard to let the youngsters leave the nest. I am sure that your daughter will do well in the rest of her life because of her upbringing. You should be very proud of the job you did with both of your children. Best wishes to her.

  3. It is difficult to let our little chicks leave the nest! You have reared an incredible young woman and it is now time to reap the benefits of your hard work as she enters the world with many exciting possibilities. Enjoy the flight and this special mom and daughter time. Cindy

  4. Starting her adult life with no debt.... Wow! Imagine that!

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

  5. Welcome to the club! I tear up thinking of when my sons left home. HOWEVER... I can assure you that the joys you can look forward to will exceed your expectations!!! Now I"m my grandaughter entertains herself with the pups on the couch.

  6. Obviously, a very level-headed young woman. Godspeed.

  7. i wish your daughter all of the best! she has made a wise choice in career and one that will see her have many experiences that she will probably thrive on (based on how you have always described her here). and imagine - no debt??? almost impossible to imagine but she seems well-suited for this career. i know it must be terribly hard to let her go...try and feel comforted in the knowledge that her parents raised her to be a strong and confident young woman who will be able to meet every challenge in her adult life.

  8. God bless her on her journey. May she be wise enough to listen. Humble enough ask questions. Strong enough to speak the truth. And may God grant the grace to keep her faith strong in Him. Safe, blessed journey to you both!

    Learning in NY

  9. Despite being a successful and independent woman, with a wonderful husband and a younger daughter, I was pretty sure I was going to lay down and die when I took my oldest to college. I cried all the way home, and had moments when I thought my life was over. However, she made it through successfully, my younger daughter also left home successfully - they are both happy and healthy and independent, and my husband and I have found life to be better than ever. All this to say - yeah, it is really pretty bad for the first few months, but it gets better!!!

  10. Hang in there mama. It hurts like crazy at first, but it eases with a little time.:)

  11. I am a long time daily reader of your blog. I have never commented before....I feel odd commenting on blogs I read when I myself do not have one....but I just wanted to wish your daughter the very best of luck. You have certainly done a fine job of raising into a smart young lady.

    Tiffany in Texas

  12. Oh wow I'm not looking forward to my eldest flying the nest. I hope all goes well

  13. I am crying with you, Patrice. This is hard.

  14. Best of luck to your daughter and to your family!! My oldest daughters are turning 10 and 12 this week, so we will be where you are in the blink of an eye! :) I would have the same worries/fears that you are expressing. But, what an exciting opportunity for her!

  15. My daughters are 21 and 22 and both still at home - local JC and college through Internet correspondence respectively, but the time is coming. I miss them already, and cherish every day of their company. However, isn't this what we went through all that trouble of homeschooling for? So that they will have the very best underpinnings for that essential time of their becoming useful adults? Bitter/sweet pill indeed.

    Love to you and Don,

    California Willie

  16. When I graduated from high school my paternal grandmother, very proud of her Irish heritage, gave me a copy of the following blessing. Of all the things, I no longer have due to moves and various purges of belongings, I will always have this in my heart.
    For older daughter:

    An Irish Blessing
    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face;
    the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
    may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    For Patrice and Don.

    God bless you for raising such a fine woman, a true contribution to the world. It hurts to see them go, but her wings are fully feathered and she knows where the home nest is if she needs it. By letting them go, we join the ranks of our parents who watched us go with the same joy and excitement for them that is also mixed with our own sadness.

    three birds with wings out in the world whose feathers were plucked from my heart

  17. Now your daughter can begin to really live her own life - stretching those mental and moral muscles in the manner of her upbringing. How thrilling are those first few months where you realize that "I'm responsible for this decision - nobody else can make it for me.". And when those first few decisions go well and you realize "I can do this.". Starting off in life is such a blast!.

    - Charlie Mitchell

  18. Wishing the best for all of you. I know this is immensely difficult and exciting at the same time. You are in my prayers.

  19. My oldest will be 14 this fall.

    I don't even want to THINK about it.

    Our son is 8 and our younger girls are 6 and 3. I'm already choking on the mere thought of the empty nest.

    If my MIL is anything to go by, it gets better.

    Hang in there, mama. You've raised a strong, competent woman.

  20. Bittersweet is a difficult parting. (Sniff.)

    Just Me

  21. It is our job as parents to teach our children to walk, and then to teach them to walk away.