‘Did I teach you all you need to know? Did I teach you I love you beyond words?’: Mom pens letter to daughter leaving for college

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“It’s 2:54 a.m. and I keep thinking, ‘Does she have enough pillows?’

We only left her with two, and her bed at home has about 10. I meant to grab more for her before she left, but in the hustle to get out I simply forgot.

I cannot fall asleep and I cannot stop thinking about the darn pillows.

It’s easier than thinking about what is worrying me.

Did we teach her all she needs to know?

Did we teach her to love those around her, even when they are different? Or it is hard?

To listen to that little whisper in her heart that comes from God? To help steer her course toward what’s right, and away from whatever danger might be hidden around the bend?

Did we teach her that learning is in the struggle so she shouldn’t be afraid to fail?

That the lessons in the struggle will teach her more than any success will.

Did we teach her to look for joy instead of happiness?

That joy is lasting because it comes in serving others…happiness can be fleeting and too dependent on the whims of circumstance.

Did we teach her that her family is for life?

That some friends will become her family and it’s a true gift to find the ones that do.

Did we teach her that we love her beyond all words?

That God inexplicably loves her even more and is always there, even when we can’t be.

What did I forget to teach her? Because knowing me I surely forgot something.

Just like I forgot about sending her with more pillows.

When we said goodbye all the words of wisdom I had for my first were, ‘Don’t forget we spent a large chunk of our lives cutting your grapes in fourths. IN FOURTHS. Please make good choices and care just as much about keeping yourself safe.’

I’m not so good with words when I’m parting with one of the loves of my life. #somanyemotions

I know life will now be her teacher…and I know now it always has been. We’ve just been guiding her. Although for a while all that was under our roof was her whole world.

Our home is now a resting spot from the big world she now belongs to.

She will learn and grow in all sorts of new ways and today as she wakes up in a new world, so do I.

It’s a world full of more hopes and dreams than it was yesterday.  A world where I can’t wait to see how she flies…and how she picks herself up when she falls.

A world where we are both becoming. Becoming new, different, and all that we are supposed to be.

A new life is born for her and a new kind of mothering is born for me.

I can see that now.

It’s not an ending but a beginning

And it turns out we were both ready.

I honor of all parents who are doing college drop-offs. I see you.”

Teenage daughter waving goodbye to mother as she leaves for school.
Courtesy of Amy Betters Midtvedt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt. The article originally appeared here. Follow Amy on Instagram here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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