Are you sure you are okay?

A little more than two months ago we said goodbye to our oldest daughter, Lydia. We drove her to Virginia, had a great time during her Freshman Orientation Weekend, and left her to begin the adventure of college.

We had spent so long preparing for this moment. Years of difficult high school classes, extra curricular activities, college searches, visits, and scholarship applications. Delivering her to school is what was supposed to happen. Yet, we were struggling to break away.

As my wife and I pushed through tears to say goodbye and drag ourselves to the car, Lydia suddenly leaned in, put her arms around us, looked us in the eye and said, “Don’t cry too long because I’m okay and very happy to be here.” We drove away in silence and stayed in silence for quite a while.

During these many weeks we have commented often about how we miss her. Each time we speak with her we are so thankful that she has a good report. We feel so grateful for the friends she has made and the caring community with whom she lives.

The irony is some part of us wants her to miss us and she doesn’t. We have said to her, “Are you sure you are okay?” What we meant was, “We miss you and we aren’t feeling okay.”

Incorporating healthy emotional responses from these types of experiences is important to me. This requires the ability to know the difference between what is my experience and what I project onto others. Personally I find it difficult the closer I am to someone.

Over the years I have learned many tricks, skills, and techniques to help. The most consistent and impact-full set of skills have come from HERE.

How have you been successful with these types of relationship transitions?

With gratitude,

Aaron