Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The College Launch - Daughters v. Sons

Last night our daughter Emily signed up for the SAT.  Her year as a high school junior is swiftly passing.  Even after releasing our two oldest boys into the wild, my heart is disbelieving that soon it will be her turn to make the decisions that will direct the course of her life.

I don't know if all mothers would say the same (probably not...I can only give my perspective,) but the thought of graduating a daughter feels much more emotionally difficult than it was with my sons.

Emily helping me with our youngest two at a farm market, Fall, 2012.

It's not gender inequity, for while I am so traditional I'm now seen as untraditional (did you understand that?,) I also am so thankful for the freedom I had to make my own choices and appreciate my college experience and degree.  I graduated high school and went away to college at the age of 17.  My father made it very clear well before there was a potential mate in the picture that he desired for me to finish college before I got married.  I met the boy who would become my husband in October of my freshman year.  My fate was forever sealed and I knew it from the moment we connected, but I kept my promise to my dad.  I always felt like I got a good deal in the bargain with my father, because I worked hard and graduated college in three years, then married two weeks after graduation ceremonies.  I loved college, loved learning, and would have continued on for advanced degrees if God had led me in that direction.  I do not assume that college is in the future plan for every one of our children, but so far our first three have desired/or do desire to go.

I think that more of what I feel at the prospect of graduating a daughter is realizing just how much I'm going to miss her if she does decide to go away to college as opposed to staying local.  (And I'm trying hard to not be morose and I won't be making any decisions for her nor trying to influence her decisions.  I'm just pensive, thank-you-very-much.)  My daughters are my friends.  My sons are too - we are all very, very close.  The boys were not with me as much, though, they were off forging their way, mowing lawns, tearing things down or building things up, and the girls?  We are usually together.  We depend upon each other.  We are deeply interconnected.  In many ways, we have grown up together and they are my friends.

Emily and I, Mother's Day 2012
 How about you?  Have you sent any of your children off to college yet?  Are you able to compare the process for sons versus daughters?  Do you think that you would have different advice for your daughters than for your sons?  I'd like to talk about this in the near future, so look forward to what you have to say both now and in future conversations.


  1. My oldest daughter is only 10 so I obviously have not yet experienced sending kids off to college. However, I think that I probably will have a harder time letting the girls go than the boys.

  2. Haven't yet. :) I think I will definitely have different advice for my daughters compared to my sons- but I have no idea what it will be yet! Emily is beautiful and I'm sure such a blessing to you- praise God!

    Looks like my comment worked. ;)

  3. You guys look so cute together! :)

    Fortunately, college is still ways away with the 2 I have. Whew! I'm not looking forward to it. At the same time, I'm excited to see what they choose to do with their lives. Ah, the bittersweet of parenthood.