As we said good bye, a big fat tear rolled down a cheek.

But it wasn’t my tear, nor was it a tear of my Husband.

It was my daughter who cried the first tear. My stoic, tough, low on visible emotion daughter.

Who saw that coming? Certainly not me.

There I was, tissues in hand, waiting to bawl my eyes out. But then I saw that tear, I took a deep breath, and I went into Mom mode. I was thankful for all the sports movies I’ve ever seen as I gave the pre game pep talk: I’m so proud of you, you worked so hard for this moment, you are prepared for the battle ahead. I made a self deprecating joke and my daughter followed it up with a wise crack and a smile, and as I hugged her that final time she looked at me and said

“I’m good.”

I gave her a thumbs up and watched her walk away from us, across campus towards her dorm so she could change out of her dress from convocation into an outfit more acceptable for the afternoon orientation events. She didn’t turn back.

It’s then that the whining started. Not my daughter’s: she was practically skipping down the steps. Nor was it from me. It was my husband.

“She could have walked us to the gate.” he said. “She didn’t even turn back around to wave.”

So I didn’t cry. I consoled him. I talked straight to him.

“She needs to make a clean break. She still loves us. But this is the time she needs to become an adult. She needed to walk away from us in the middle of campus. She needed to head off into the future and not look back.”

“Well” he said. “I don’t like it.”

We got back to the hotel and loaded our stuff in the car, saying good bye to the concierge who had been consoling parents all morning. We began to drive north.

I did not cry.

We got home and greeted the pets, ordered Chinese food and put some things away.

I did not cry.

I met my friends for lunch on Monday, Mother’s who had just performed the same dropping off ritual that I had. They cried. I did not.

I dropped off dry cleaning yesterday- my dry cleaner sends her son off to college for the first time on the 30th. I watched her eyes well up as she spoke to me, because we are sisters in this: I know how she is feeling as she knows how I am. As I patted her shoulder I did not get weepy, I did not shed a tear.

Alas, as I spoke to my very special friend last night, I spoke of how I have not cried….yet. I know it will come- it’s inevitable. But I need to still be strong for my daughter. She is adjusting well so far, and I know when classes start today she will get better. She likes the routine that classes and activities give her. Neither one of us does well with unstructured time- we like routines and planners and all things like that. We like busy. So she will shed no more tears. She will thrive in her new environment of new studies and new friends.

Then- it will be my turn to cry.



55 thoughts on “I still Haven’t Cried

  1. I think I had a little tear in my eye dropping off daughter #1. But when she called to say she was lonely (in a dorm with 500 other students) it really hit me. I was strong when she called on the phone, but afterwards.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You will when the time is right. Or maybe when it isn’t. 🤗
    A heads up from someone who has been there, at some point she will call you to vent about something horrible and you will lose sleep over it. Days later when you’ve come up with a solution for her, she’ll act like she doesn’t even know what you’re talking about because once she dropped it on your lap it no longer bothered her. She gave it to you to carry. Let it go.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s funny you wrote that. At one of the thousand parent events, the dean of student affairs came to talk to our little circle, and I asked him what advice he could give us, and he said the same thing….they will forget but we won’t!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s awesome that a dean said the same thing. 😎 It’s definitely hard to remember in the moment, but it’s good to know that you’re the place they come to when they need to drop off their troubles.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad it went well and she’s all settled. I’m also in the “I took my time to cry” camp. One day it just happened, with each of them already happily immersed in college life and me alone. That’s pretty typical behavior for me though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a beautiful and bittersweet experience!
    I suspect you’ll cry at the most random and seemingly unrelated thing. And maybe you won’t. You’ve been working her entire life for this moment.
    She’ll have moments of homesickness, but being busy on campus will ease that for her.
    You’ll have moments of missing her, even simply missing her scent around your home.
    You’re going to feel your feels whether or not tears are shed.
    Thank you for taking us on this journey with you.
    Sending you much love! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m a year away yet and I’m ready to start crying. AND… he will probably be going to school close so he can stay at home. I’m an absolute basket case most times when it comes to my kids. Can I be like you when I get older?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! You’re going great, though. Really. This may hit hard or it may not. Either way, I know you’ll be there for your daughter when and if she needs you.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It comes when you least expect it. I was cleaning and found an orphaned sock of my daughter’s and had to sit down and cry. With my son it was a funny text from him and I realized that texting was going to be the way we communicated! Hang in there it gets better.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a pretty emotional person, but I didn’t cry when either of our kids left for college. I was so excited that they were getting to do something I didn’t at their age. My college days came about when I was in my late 30’s and already had the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It will happen in the middle of the supermarket when you forget and pick up her favorite treat to take home for her, when you realise she not at home. The tears will flow, people will look at you as if you are mad, someone will ask if you are OK, you will blubber yes thank you, my daughter as gone to college, they will smile at you, you will feel like a fool and smile back, job done. Not that i know anything about it of course 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You may cry many weeks later, but I think it’s great that you were stoic in the moment. No need to burden your child with any sense of guilt because Mom was upset that said child was growing up like she should be. You done good.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mine went backpacking around New Zealand, Australia & Bali before attending University. I was excited for her & sent multiple encouraging text messages during his first week(ish) away. I only cried after I discovered I was doing it wrong & I stopped to think whether she thought I’d forgotten about her. Of course, she was didn’t think that, she was just fine & having a ball. But, yes, that was my trigger …

    Have a hand hold for when yours hits, for you’ve done it just right for your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I cry over practically every little thing. It’s due partly to my personality and partly to menopausal hormonal issues. 😀 In any case, (((hugs))). I’m sure it was extremely hard to see your daughter go on her own now. I’m dreading the day when my sons leave. I pray you have a good, cleansing cry whenever it eventually happens.


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