Transitioning

As I’ve been toiling away in the home office, Kate has been working feverishly in her bedroom. Tomorrow we take her to Washington, D.C. where she will move into an off-campus apartment for the Senior Year.

Unlike her first trip to Washington or last year’s sojourn to Cairo, this is a milestone step. Essentially, when we drive away tomorrow, Kate stops living at the house and will only return as a visitor.

This entire year is transitional for her, as she establishes herself as a full-time Washington resident, completes her coursework and starts looking for a permanent job. Being a Boren Scholar will help open certain doors and her one-year obligation to the federal government certain should help the hunt, but that does not change the fact that she still needs to hunt.

Kate has had her heart in Washington pretty much since she began her college life and she seems very happy there. It wasn’t a great summer for her after the thrill of Cairo. Too many of her friends were elsewhere, ironically many in D.C. She worked, she studied, and she put off cleaning the room.

With each passing week we spent time with her on beginning adult life issues like renter’s insurance, negotiating a lease, figuring out what to keep here and what to take. We’ve rarely spoken of the fact that this is a major milestone for her as an individual and for us as the parents with one really leaving the nest.

This week we’ve all gotten caught up in the arrangements, the loads of books and clothes for Good Will, the bags and bags of garbage that none of us have really paused to reflect – that’ll probably come this weekend as we settle her in. We’ve had meals together, watched some television together but largely it’s been the grind of preparation.

I’m both looking forward to seeing her blossom on her own and dread the notion that our work with her is largely done.

4 comments

  • Bob Ahrens

    Bobby, my friend…

    There is the added bonus that you’ll be here soon once again with Robbie… still it won’t be quite the same. Kate’s your oldest and the most independent of your progeny. Still , she’s your little girl. Reading between the lines here, I see a Dad in blissful agony. Blissful, because you are so proud how Kate turned out so well, so smart, strong and ready to take on the world. The agony is you still want to have her in your arms and cuddle her to sleep because she just had a bad dream and Dad is the only one who makes it all better.

    I know. I’m there, too. Although Rachel is still at home for this semester of college, soon she’ll be off to Towson and then Virginia Tech, after that God knows. And she’s doing better than I ever dreamed, but I find myself wishing she needed me more.

  • Susan O

    Oh, stop it! You’re making me cry! While packing to move last winter, I came across letters I’d written to friends talking about costume contests Chris & Rina, & Katie & Robbie were in – when they were 8 & 6. I’m not that old! (really!) I’ll be in that same boat far too soon as I take Chris on the college tours this fall…

  • Steve L

    Bob,

    At least you know when she’s out in the world that you’ve done a great job. Be proud.

  • steve D.

    A parent’s work is never done. My Dad is 86 and I still look to him for guidence. Sounds like you are a terrific Dad. I bet some of the hotshots we grew up with can’t say the same.