We moved our youngest daughter into college. She was the last to go. I thought I knew what to expect. We packed boxes, suitcases and told her to take everything that could fit in the back of our SUV. When moving day came and she walked out of her room with 1 roller bag and a few boxes. I didn’t know what she was thinking. It looked as if she would be leaving for a long weekend not a year at college.
Was this the way she had decided to cope with this new change in her life. She was leaving her friends and her comfort zone. The house she had lived in for the past 14 years. The job she had worked at for the last 6 years.
How would we cope? Now there would be more empty bedrooms and a much quieter house.
Making the drive to Montreal Canada from New Jersey wasn’t so bad, our other daughter is in Alabama. I can assure you Tuscaloosa is a whole other trip which takes an entire day and then some.
We had decided to make a short vacation out of the move-in. Montreal is a vibrant city. Culturally thriving. There is an abundant, diverse food scene and legendary outdoor festivals. Hoping the extra time would make this move a little easier for our daughter and also for us.
We became tourists as we let our daughter to navigate dorm life, cafeteria food and forge forward towards new friendships. On our last night in Montreal we took her out for dinner. As we parted ways and said our goodbyes we watched her walk up the hill to her dorm. I crumbled inside. She was officially on her own. Had I set her up for success? Told her how much I loved her? Guided her towards her dreams? I wanted her to turn back so I tell her I would always be there for her. She didn’t look back and I didn’t run after her. That was when the tears slid down my cheeks. However, were the tears for her or me. I knew there would be many doors opening for her in this new chapter of her life. What would be changing in my life? The unknown for all of us was playing at the depths of my brain.
When we arrived back home I unpacked. I walked into my daughter’s room and it looked like she would be returning after a long weekend away. I knew that wasn’t true. I went to work the next day. I wanted to be busy. I knew at times the house would feel way too quiet. I also knew I would be ok. We would be ok. I waited a few days to call. When we talked via facetime she was in a jovial mood. She had found friends. She was adapting and so were we!
Tips: Favorite Restaurant Lola Rosa for vegetarian/vegan food.
Fun area: Mile End
Best pick for lunch: L’etagere