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One Mom’s View … A Letter to My Daughter as She Leaves for College

Adria Giordano and her daughter on the first day of kindergarten. Courtesy photo

Thoughts and ruminations about being a working mom, raising two daughters, and being Italian … while trying to maintain my sanity and organized closets. (My husband’s laugh, red wine, and ironing make me happy.)

By Adria Giordano

Dear daughter,

As I write this, I am already crying. In 48 hours you will be on your way to college, and while I am so unbelievably proud of you, and so happy you have found the place you want to spend your next 4-5 years, a part of me is sad that this phase of your life is over.

Being your mom for the past 18 years and raising you has filled my life with love and meaning. You and your sister are a part of me, and while I know you will always be emotionally attached to me, I am so sad to have you not physically by my side anymore. It has been a joy to watch you take your first steps, begin school and grow up one day at a time.

They say the days are long and the years are short. I didn’t really know what that meant until I became a mom. When you began kindergarten, you were so nervous, but bravely walked into class and couldn’t wait to go back the next day. To me, it feels like that was just yesterday. It’s hard to explain, but you know how you were just hanging out with your friends yesterday? That is what it feels like for moms. LIke it was just yesterday that you walked into that classroom, and blink, you are now 18 and beginning college.

I know you will call and FaceTime, but it won’t be the same. I will miss you when I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night. I will miss your smile and laughter and yes, even the wet towels you leave on the floor. I will miss your crazy dances, silly jokes and the way your eyes light up when you are happy. I will miss your hugs and bursts into our room when you have to tell me something immediately. I will miss your fashion shows, tik toks and the way you sing. I will miss your surprises, your obsession with Dunkin’ hash browns and endless desire to stop at every Starbucks we pass. I will miss the way you cuddle with the pup, and even the arguments you get into about clothes with your sister. (Just kidding, I won’t miss that.)

You are off to walk into your next classroom alone, but know that I will be with you. (I promise I won’t actually show up!) I can’t wait for you to call and tell me all about it! So many exciting and new things await you in life, and you are on your way! And although we have talked about this, I just want to remind you of a few thing … (just humor me please) …

  1. Always remember you are stronger than you think. You can do whatever comes your way. Take a deep breath and know you are prepared. Lean on yourself, and remind yourself daily that you CAN do this. And if it gets a little too much, you know who to call.
  2. Be safe and trust your instincts. This doesn’t just mean at night or at a party. If something doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. I want you to have fun but you need to be me, since I won’t be there. Say to yourself, would mom think this is safe? And if the answer is no, then don’t do it or leave the situation.
  3. Have fun and meet new people. Keep your door open during the day, walk up to a new person and introduce yourself, sit with people you don’t know. You will be amazed at how a little effort can create new friendships.
  4. Eat healthy. Junk food in modesty. You will feel better if you are eating something other than cheetos and mac & cheese. While you’re at it don’t forget to drink water and stay hydrated.
  5. Don’t procrastinate and wait until the last minute to finish the book you were given at the beginning of the semester. Don’t wait until the day it’s due to begin a paper. Write down your assignments in the agenda you have, sometimes writing things down helps more than just putting them in the phone.
  6. Don’t forget to call me and dad. And your sister. We will miss you more than you could know.

I am so excited for you to begin college and can’t wait to hear all about it. If I cry a little before then and at drop off, just remember, to me it feels like you were just 5. I may hug you a little longer than you want, but it’s to hold me over until I see you again. You are going to have a wonderful adventure, love you always,

~ Mom

Adria Giordano describes herself as a mom, wife, fundraiser, party planner, and blogger. She is a currently the director of development and communications for Chrysalis Center in Hartford, CT. She lives in West Hartford with her husband, two teenage daughters, mother-in-law, and mini goldendoodle puppy.

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