My Oldest Daughter Just Left for College (and I haven’t cried…yet)

My husband and oldest daughter just pulled out of the driveway, off on a road trip that ends with my daughter moving into her first-year college dorm.

Hannah leaving

I’ve cried a lot of tears over this child. When she’s been in pain, when she’s struggled, when she’s pulled away from me emotionally (and when she came back).

But I’m not crying today. I’m too excited for her.

This is what is supposed to happen, this is what I’ve raised her to do. As I heard another mother say it: I’ve spent most of my motherhood trying to work myself out of a job.

I am so excited to know what happens next, even if that “next” means I can’t be physically near her.

That’s probably the thing I’m saddest about – not being able to see her all the time, because I really do enjoy her company. She’s a pretty phenomenal girl. But now the rest of the world (or at least Rexburg, Idaho) gets to figure that out. Lucky them!

I’m pretty sure I’ll be crying later, when she’s going through something I can’t fix for her, or when she’s making rash decisions and won’t listen to advice. All those things we do when we’re growing up and messing up and figuring it all out.

But I’m not crying today, and neither was she when she left. She’s ready to go. She’s ready for what’s next.

Go get ’em, Hannah!!


  • Karen Weight

    I am with ya Stacey! I love your attitude and hope I don’t cry when I drop Natalie off:(

    • See, that’s where I have it easy. If I were saying goodbye at her doorstep instead of mine, I think I would be a mess. Robb has the tougher end of it, for sure. So I say, cry your heart out if that’s what happens! These are exciting, but hard times, too.

  • YOU may have not cried yet…but I am as I’m reading this post!! MY baby is sending HER baby off into the world….wow lots of emotions here!! xoxoxoxo

    • See, now you’re going to get me going! 🙂 I find that I’m pretty much ok on my own, but then when someone else starts (Robb and Abby in particular have been having a hard time), it starts welling up for me. It’s very “circle of life” and a little surreal. I think in a practical sense, I just keep thinking that there’s so much still to do at home. Just watch, I will be a MESS when Eli leaves. 🙂 xoxoxoxox

  • keithnerdin

    No worries Stacey, Robb will gush enough for both of you as he drives away from campus…alone. Crying’s great though! I heard someone say the other day–after several others sobbingly declared how much they hated crying in public–that he LOVED it, because it usually meant he was experiencing one of those rare and special (ofttimes spiritual) moments in life. I loved that!

    • Oh, Robb has already been at it a little. 😉 And no, I don’t envy him the job of actually having to *leave* her. I’m spoiled in a way, because my goodbye this morning saw her off with her father, who is still taking care of her. Robb’s job is MUCH harder, but then I know they chose it that way so they could make some awesome memories together, too. I know I will cry at some point, like when someone new meets me and thinks I only have four children. For some reason, that bothers me the most. Having this “phantom child.” I want to claim her always, and have her by my side. But that also feels so selfish; I told Robb – I would never want her to have to stay here just so I could not miss her. Change never does feel quite “fair,” but I won’t get any of the awesome future milestones (graduation, grandkids, etc) without this happening first. I can make peace with that! 🙂

  • YAY!!! How exciting! I am glad today there are no tears. 🙂

  • I totally cried. Hope she has a great first year!!!

  • Amy

    I have a feeling I will have the same experience. It is when you drop off the LAST one that it gets emotional! Molly has had a harder time going to school than the others ever did and that is what has made it more difficult for me. (By the way, she loves it once she gets there, it is the leaving Mommy at the bus stop that is hard for her) I know that she is having fun AT school, and that is what keeps me together!!!

  • {Kathy} Thank you! I am so happy for my son who left this year for college. Some people think I should be crying in a corner somewhere. I am excited for him. Sure, there are times that I wish I could see his face, but I am thrilled he is getting on with life.