Hell yeah!: Abby edition

Today’s the day we take Abby to college. Her university has a “family weekend” planned, so it’s three days of moving into the dorm, orientations, small groups and … I have no idea. Crap to make us feel better about dropping our very hearts into the world without us, probably.


The girls on graduation day.


Last Friday, I was at acupuncture (big fan) talking to my acupuncturist (as opposed to someone else, I guess). She was looking over my chart — I go because of my jerky stomach and my anxiety — and she was like, you’re not in crisis, so just maintenance this week? And I was like, huh, yeah, I guess I’m NOT in crisis. Weird.

We talked about Abby leaving (she says I’ve been in mourning for months and that’s helped get me to a good place now), and she started listing off all the reasons we have to be excited about this new chapter: Abby graduated from high school (ninth in her class, no bigs), she gave an eloquent speech at graduation, she’s going to her chosen university, she knows what she wants to study, and she’s excited. And that it’ll be a good thing for Johanna, who will now have our undivided attention.

So it’s a happy time with some mama sadness, she said. Celebrate your accomplishment!

My first thought was, well, it’s really Abby’s accomplishment, but then I remembered:


So you know what? I am going to celebrate this accomplishment. We’ve got a good, smart kid we are sending out into the world!


She is excited about this new chapter!


She loves us so much and keeps thanking us for … being great, I guess, for loving her and for supporting her in this journey. (No joke. That kid has an amazing heart.)


And while I think a lot of this is due more to Abby’s personality than our parenting skillz, I’m still all like:


And everyone keeps telling me they come back. A lot. So it’s okay.


P.S. I tend to hide from negative emotions, but this time I’m like, you know what? I AM sad. I’m trying to just own it and feel it and understand that it’s normal (and maybe even a good thing, because it shows that Abby isn’t some jerk I’m ready to get out of my house). It’s been easier to embrace the sadness — and therefore the excitement — than pretending it doesn’t exist. Maybe I can learn new tricks?



12 thoughts on “Hell yeah!: Abby edition

  1. Linda M says:

    Hell yeah! What a wonderful daughter…and momma! Cry if you feel like it, laugh if you feel like it….just keep loving her….she will always be yours no matter where she is! I will keep you in my prayers.


  2. Diane says:

    #1 left home to fly across the country at age 18. Becoming an apprentice chef (and declared a rising star at age 21). His father was out of the country so I took him to airport. Maybe a lump in throat but also a great feeling of freedom – he was never easy – very strong willed and opinionated (wonder where he got that from? Um, maybe Moi?)

    #2 (daughter) left for college as I was entering grad school so very relieved to have one less body at home.

    Can’t even remember when #3 left.

    All 3, but especially the boys, left via revolving door. Can’t remember how many times they moved back, # 1 bringing a friend home to live with us as well – twice!! Friend remained with us when # 1 moved out for good. (Karma. I did the same as a kid).

    Now all three, plus 2 grandkids, live within spitting distance from us!!

    Your Abby sounds like the easy child I never had so maybe I would be sad if she left too.

    I love all of mine to death but so happy they have their own lives. By the time # 3 finally moved out for good I had had kids at home for close to 27 years One tired Mama.


    • Trisha Walker says:

      It is an interesting kind of heartbreak … like, we’re so proud and it’s so awesome she’s coming into her own, but she truly is a great kid and we just like having her around. Not that she’s always easy, just that she has more positives than negatives. 😉 I keep hearing they come back, so I’m trying to keep that in mind. Makes it easier somehow knowing that!

      I have already noticed that we’ve got less laundry and dirty dishes, so hey! That’s a perk I didn’t think about.


  3. sarahn says:

    oh bless. I know this has been hard for you – it still is hard for you. I’m ‘just a kid’ but I too am going through my own little hard – same sort of emotions, that mourning, the change, the why, why can’t it stay the same and never change even when the change is good and right and proper.

    But I’ve never seen an acupuncturist for… my mind. Perhaps I should be…


    • Trisha Walker says:

      I totally recommend acupuncture for anxiety and stress. I’ve been at it for two years now, and I can’t believe how much better I feel. I’m in it for life, I think — it’s working and I don’t want to go back to how it was before.

      That’s what it is! Mourning the change! Abby and I don’t do change well. This has been a growing week for both of us.

      And good thoughts to you for your own change and mourning. It’s never easy, no matter how old you are.


  4. Loretta says:

    Taking notes Trisha, as I will be in that place at the end of next year. So pleased you are able to feel your feelings. Your daughter sounds like a wonderful, level headed girl and you should be proud! It isn’t all nature you know, some of it is down to us:-)


    • Trisha Walker says:

      Ugh, hugs! Senior year is wonderful and terrible all at the same time … Although I keep reminding myself that this is the point, to raise them and give them wings. I just didn’t expect it to go so fast, I guess. So we can cry together is what I’m saying. 🙂


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