Thursday, November 12, 2015

Launching a kid

We've had a stressful week here in the Lewis household as we made the countdown for Older Daughter to launch into the world.

Don't get me wrong, we are all delighted with the new job she has in New Jersey as a certified professional nanny. The family she's working for sounds ideal, the pay is generous, the neighborhood is lovely, and she'll be close to her dear friend GG who is currently working on Long Island.

But the irrefutable fact remains that we'll be separated from our dear daughter by the space of 3000 miles. That's a little heard to swallow. As I told Older Daughter, ironically this wouldn't be so bad if we didn't get along as a family. But we do get along, and this makes the separation rough.

On the upside, we're confident the solid foundation we've given her will prove useful as she embarks on her adult life. It will impact her personal choices for decades to come -- who to marry, how to treat her future husband, how to raise children, how to someday form her own family life.

Anyway, enough philosophizing. The week was spent getting two boxes of her personal effects shipped in advance of her plane flight. Unlike packing for her three-month stay in Ohio for nanny school, this was a more permanent arrangement, so she thought long and hard about what she wanted to bring in terms of clothes, books, and other personal possessions.

Her room at her new job does not have a bookshelf, so that's one of the first purchases she'll make after she arrives. Until they we'll hold off shipping her books.

Lydia knew something was up, and spent an inordinate amount of time on Older Daughter's bed, looking pathetic. It's hard for Pyrenees to accept the loss of a flock member.

I asked Older Daughter what she wanted for dinner on Tuesday, her last day with us. She choose navy bean soup.

We all slept badly Tuesday night and got up very early Wednesday morning. We're an hour and a half drive from the airport, and her flight left at 8:30 am, so we were on the road by 5:45 am.

She filled in an ID tag for her one checked bag...

...and within minutes she was ready to go through security. I tried not to sniffle too loudly as I hugged her goodbye.

She called us late Wednesday evening, safe and sound in New Jersey. She'll face jet lag over the next few days but will soon adjust.

We'll have her back for three days over Christmas, but she's on her own now. One kid, launched into the world. Where do the years go?


  1. {Sniff} The way I'm tearing up, you'd think she was my kid.

    May God bless you all,
    Southern Gal

  2. Our only child left to go to a school 1200 miles for a graduate degree. We were consoled by the thought that she would be close to us again after the one year away. Then the best job offer was 1400 miles away. Then came marriage to someone who worked in the same area that she did. The grandchildren have grown into their teens now. Since we retired, we reached the conclusion that the way to erase the distance was for us to move. They are the ones who have more roots now--4 sets rather than 2.

  3. Awww…it does not get easier as each baby flies away from the nest.
    You are right to focus on the great foundation you gave her; it gives her the best grounding and helps make her journey successful. It doesn't make the letting go any easier though.

    Hugs for all of the Lewis household.

  4. Poor baby puppity! She's missing her girl. I've never seen Lydia look so sad. Is she eating OK? Is she better new?
    Has Daughter spoken to her over the phone? Seriously, don't laugh.
    We've learned over the years that when one of us has to be away we can mitigate a lot of critter anxiety and sadness by taking the phone to where the critters are and setting it on speaker setting so they can hear us talking to them. It's worked for kitties, doggies, sheep....and a crow. :)
    As I looked at the 'getting packed' photos I couldn't help thinking what an adventure it will be for her new charges to have her there and get to know her. It will be a time of discovery for them all.
    I'm so happy for her.
    What a launch! I believe it has achieved orbit!

    A. McSp

  5. Whew... 3,000 miles. That is hard. I have to wonder if perhaps He wants Older Daughter in New Jersey for a reason known only to Him. There is one thing that we do know. She will be a blessing to those who get to know her including the children in her care.

    Montana Guy

  6. Oh my goodness. That picture of Lydia says it all.

    Just Me

  7. That's quite a milestone, Patrice, for her, as well as for you, Don and younger daughter. Blessings to you all as you make this adjustment.


  8. I've been blessed beyond what I deserve that all but one of my chicks live reasonably close, though one never left. He still occupies his attic bedroom that's stuffed to the rafters (literally) with electronic gear.

    That dog looks truly pitiful! Her family member was lost, came home, now is lost again. Poor little innocent heart.

  9. Parting is such sweet sorrow. All the chicks have to leave the nest sometime and all we can do is prepare them for flight. You and Don have done that very well and should be rightly proud in how you have prepared her for flight out into the world. Lydia is looking crushed but she will survive as will the rest of the family. Good luck to older daughter!

  10. You've done an amazing job (as has she). All of you should be very proud.

    I can't quite bring myself to congratulate you. I remember going 1000 miles from my Dad and want to cry for all of you.

    I think about my little birds leaving the nest, and crying doesn't cover it.

    But this is what we raise them for. This is the good outcome. Ya done good.

  11. We also went through this about thirteen years ago. We took two girls plus my daughter to California. We had to travel 1200 miles and rented a large Uhaul,loaded with bedroom sets, living room groups, and everything needed for a apartment for three girls.
    I had two other parents that went along for moral support.
    This was a adventure that I will always remember and I would never in my right mind ever do again.I know before we left to go back home we bought a huge amount of phone cards for my daughter to use. (I don't thing cellphones were going real strong then.) Today my daughter and one other girl are still out there.And I was still uneasy with her twelve hundred miles away. But she found her true love several months ago and they will be married this summer, So my stress level will start to really go way down.

  12. I have lived in New Jersey my entire life.There are rural areas here, but not quite the vista's of Idaho as you have shown through your photography.

    My relatives live on Long Island. Recently we drove there, for, unfortunately, a funeral. It took us 3.5 hrs to drive there and 3.5 hours get back home. Funerals do not necessarily wait for the weekends or opportune times when the traveling time could have been 2hrs both ways. Sigh. It was stop and go traffic until we got to I78.

    The good news is depending on where in NJ your older daughter lives (it would be more convenient if she was more northern/central), she could meet with GG in NYC, via bus or train. There is a lot to see in the city, but it is expensive.

  13. I launched my oldest into the Navy last year. (He went from a town of 3000 to Chicago!) I bawled like a baby.

    1. Thank you to your family for giving your family member to our defense and safety. God bless you and your brave child.

  14. The first one is hard and when the youngest goes it is much worse. We talk to our kids every day and try and visit a couple times per month but they have their own lives and we grow older much more alone.

  15. I've launched 5, 2 of them this past year. After 2 years of community college, we drove our 20 yo daughter to be a nanny in NJ (yup!). We talk to her regularly on the phone and though she isn't coming home for Thanksgiving (her family is going on a cruise), she does plan to be home at Christmas. We are in WNY so it is a drive for us, but not across the country. For many reasons, I wish your "big" girl and my "little" girl could get together :) (though my little girl is actually 20). If your daughter ever needs a safe place on the way home, we could be that for her. I know that's an odd thing to say, don't worry. It takes a fair amount of faith to send kids out, away from home. This weekend my son and DIL and their little one visited. He had to make a speedy trip home today (left wife and baby at her parents, who also live "here") to his naval base. With the world situation, I have to admit to concern, and like many mothers I wouldn't mind collecting all my chickies closer to home.
    BTW, my daughter looked into that nanny school, and now has it as a goal. Thank you for telling about it. And, if your daughter was possibly interested in a fellow NJ nanny friendship, I would love to send you/her my daughter's facebook page privately. (I know, I know, I am not a big facebook fan either.)