Taking a Moment

posted August 30th, 2010 by Janet Graham - Leave a Comment

 Oh my god!!!!!! How many of you out there are down to your last 14 days until your first born heads off to a place of higher learning? No one prepared me for this!!!!!!!!


Don’t get me wrong – I am sad that Elizabeth is leaving home and will miss her enormously and wish she was around to hang with. I am sure I will wander into her empty bedroom and call her a million times…


But who has time to worry about missing them right now, when there are only a few days left to experience the pre-university “readiness” drama??


The past few weekends have been spent shopping for stuff for her room and watching her say goodbye to her friends. Every night seems filled with intense conversations or activities that take us one step close to D-Day…departure.


It is fascinating to watch the members of our family begin to adjust in their own way.


Elizabeth, who is headed to the University of Western Ontario, is on an emotional rollercoaster. Yes, she has thought it all through, made bold and clear choices (not one of her friends are going to UWO), and researched the experience as much as possible so she is going in eyes wide open. She is naturally apprehensive but excited, scared and curious, adventurous and cautious.


She doesn’t say it, but I can tell she is sad to leave home even though I know she is a fiercely independent child who spent most of last summer travelling on her own. But this is a different milestone, a passage to the next phase of her life and preparation for true adulthood.


Then there is Katherine, my soon-to-be high school student. She has measured every inch of Elizabeth’s bedroom, lobbied hard to have it made into her personal lounge area and is counting down the days until she will be the focus of all of her parents’ attention.


Of course Katherine has yet to realize that with her older sister leaving she also loses her second wardrobe, a friend to hang out with, a buddy to watch Glee, a free taxi service and, most importantly, the person who watches out for her more than she appreciates.


I feel most for my husband, who has been in a state of denial that she is going away. And farther away than his preferred choice, McMaster University, where he could have easily popped down to see her and have her come home regularly.


He is sad and happy all at once. They are very close and I know that he has yet to fully adjust to our new reality. But it is wonderful to see him express this and what a great father he is even when it is hard to let go.


Then there is me….ugh.


The good news is I have been so busy helping her get organized I have no time to think.


I will miss her as she is such a grounded and thoughtful presence in our family and for me. Don’t get me wrong, we are always debating issues and rarely agree on anything but we respect and love the passion and intellect we each demonstrate in the process of our interactions.


What mother doesn’t wish for her child’s every dream to come true and worry at the same time that it will be a hard path to walk. I am no different. I will have to find a new set of tools and ways to support, encourage and “be there” for her from a distance.


OMG that’s right only 14 days left. But who is counting…..


To all of you in the same boat…..hang in there we will get through it.


To all of you who have been there….help…..


To all of you soon to be there……get ready for a ride.


All the best to our children in this coming school year. May they be happy, healthy and fulfilled.


This post was written by Michelle DiEmanuele, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Credit Valley Hospital and published in her blog “Taking a Moment” which is Michelle’s personal reflection on life as a CEO, a parent, and member of the community. It is printed with her permission from The Credit Valley Hospital intranet publications.  And I am grateful to her for agreeing to share it with you.

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