Monday, March 20, 2006

Spring is springing here in Northern California, and it seems to be the time for change and renewal.

My oldest daughter is moving into her own apartment today, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. She's been living full time with her mom for the past 3 years, since her mom and I split up, and things have been sometimes rocky, sometimes wonderful, but she is nearly 20 (going on 30), and very independent minded. Its time for her to make this move, and I'm not sure how to feel.

I'm know I'm proud of her. She's got a decent full-time job (it doesn't pay all that great, but it is with a very respectable firm, and it's steady, secure work, and she does get periodic raises), she's responsible about her job, and she's happy with it. She and her roommate (a girl-friend from work) found the apartment on their own, and have made all the arrangements by themselves. She's a good kid, really.

But I'm also kinda nervous. She's not going to college (ok, I didn't either, but THAT's why I'm nervous: I know it can tough with or without a college education, but there's no denying a college education can help in the workplace competition), and we all know that children who don't go to college while they are at home are much less likely to do so once out on their own. The apartment is going to be party-central for a time - she already jokingly told me as much, and she's an energetic 20-year-old - how could it not be? I think every kid who's ever had their own apartment as a young 20-something has stories. Independence and complete freedom from day-to-day parental observation and input always results in chaos for a time. How could it be any different? I don't like the tradition, but it's time honored, and for the most part, in the long run, harmless. I hope.

But I know I'm not scared. She's a smart young-lady. She's made a few choices that raise my eyebrows (didn't we all?), but over-all she's been pretty smart in what she's done. She's learning about the world, learning about people, starting her freshman year at Life U, if you will, and she's got a full load. She just needs to be picky about the extra-curricular activities, choose wisely, and I think she'll be fine.


sage said...

It sounds like she'll do just fine, but I'd keep an eye on her just the same; after all, you're her daddy!

Mike J. said...

Oh yeah, I'll keep a pretty close eye. After we got done emptying the Uhaul into their apartment, I took her over to the grocery store and bought be some start-up groceries - just a few things to get them through the next few days. Neither of them had really thought about that.

I think I'll see more of her now than when she was at her mother's, just because I'll have the unyeilding desire to check in on her wellbeing, which I didn't need to worry about while she was living under her mother's roof.

Ed Abbey said...

I moved away from home at 18 when I went to college and other than a couple summers after that, I haven't returned. Yes the first years were so full of temptations and I did partake of a few but all that good parenting in the preceeding 18 years must have rubbed off because I made a lot of good decisions compared to some of my buddies. I always rode the public bus when going out to drink or just walked, was offered but never accepted drugs, etc. Since you seem like one of those good parents, I'm sure things will be alright.

On the other hand as my daughter is just three months out, I'm sure I am going to be petrified the day she moves out on her own.

Mike J. said...

No matter how well you prepare them, it never seems enough. You've got plenty of years to think about it though!