Ready to Launch…this small phrase kept running through my mind the whole time we were in New York City dropping our daughter off for college. She was excited, yet she was calm. She didn’t seem scared. She was happy with her decision to move to the Big Apple. Her steadfast demeanor brought me some peace, but at the same time, a big part of my brain was screaming, “How did we get here?”, “How did this happen?”, “What happened to the little girl who would not leave my side?”. She was the one I had to pull out of preschool because she cried too long and too hard. She never wanted to go away to camp, she didn’t like sleepovers; quite frankly, she was our homebody. But, somehow, here we were with this smart and confident,18-year old young woman, who was ready to launch and who was ready to chase her dreams.
Our daughter, Lyla, has loved fashion for most of her life. She enjoys learning about the designers, the designs, and the stories behind them. While she was growing up, we knew this was an interest for her, but we didn’t truly know how serious she was until the summer of 2019. That August, we had an opportunity to do a mother/daughter trip to NYC with a close friend and her daughter. Once we had decided to go, Lyla begged me to take her to see the fashion exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibit was called, CAMP: Notes on Fashion. I had no idea what to expect or really what it was all about, but I agreed to take her.
We arrived and entered the exhibit which was done beautifully. One after another we saw exquisite gowns, costumes, and designs. Lyla was in awe. At first, we just observed and took it all in. Soon enough though, Lyla started explaining to me each design, going into detail regarding the designer, the materials used to make the clothing, and what it represented or why the designer chose to do the design in a particular style. I listened. I watched her expressions. I saw my daughter come alive at that moment in a way I had never seen before. It was eye-opening, to say the least. I was very impressed with how much she knew about all of the designs. Honestly, I was a bit shocked. As I said before, we always knew she cared about fashion but we had no idea how seriously she took it or how much she was studying it on her own. She was already a student of fashion, we just had not realized it.
After that trip to NYC, Lyla began to diligently search out colleges where she could study fashion. She began to mention going to college in New York City. We were sort of half-listening as we thought this was just a pipe dream. How could it ever really happen, we are from Wisconsin for Pete’s sake!
But this kid was determined to make it happen. She found a fashion college in the heart of NYC that offered the exact degree she wanted, Fashion Media. Her dream is to one day write about fashion for a magazine like Vogue. She applied to LIM College, which was founded in 1939 and is well known throughout the city. https://www.limcollege.edu/ We waited in anticipation for their response. Good news arrived with an acceptance as well as a sizable scholarship. After many hours of discussion and me giving her outlines as to why it would be better to stay local, she remained headstrong in her vision for her future. We finally acquiesced. I was worried we had made the wrong decision but she said, “Mom, don’t worry, I am going to find my people in NYC.”. How could I argue with that?
It has now been three weeks since we dropped her off and let me tell you it might have been the hardest thing I have ever done. Leaving your innocent,18-year old, midwest-raised daughter in New York City is not easy. 1,000 awful scenarios have gone through my mind these last few months while thinking about leaving her there. But at the end of the day, this is what she wanted so we had to let her try. On top of that, if I am going to live out my faith, I have to trust God’s plan for her and remember that He loves her infinitely more than me. I have said many prayers and know that He will watch over her and protect her.
So far, she is doing great. She is loving the whole experience. Lyla has ventured all over the city on her own, with her roommate, and with other new friends that she has already made. She is taking the subway, walking a ton, and learning how to be a New Yorker. She said she isn’t homesick at all except she does miss her dog, Leo! Haha! I would say this young woman is ready to launch for sure.
Isn’t it crazy moms and dads how it all goes so fast? How we cannot predict what our children will love or do? Isn’t it amazing how our kids can surprise us with what they are capable of and with how far they can go? It takes so much faith to let them go. God gives us these precious humans for just so long and then it becomes our job to help them spread their wings and build a life of their own. I know I am not the only parent who has gone through the emotions of dropping their child off at college throughout the last month, so to all of you, please know that I hope your child is doing well and that he or she is happy with their choice of school too. Whether we like it or not, they are ready to launch; we have to let them go and hold strong to our faith. Go get ’em kids! We love you!
Thank you very much Michelle! I know you are right there with me in this experience. We are blessed to have our faith to help get us through.
Kerry, thanks for this post & congratulations on “letting go”! You described it so well…trusting God’s plan & care for our children & releasing them to chase their dreams. Lyla is so fortunate to have parents who encourage & support her. Godspeed to her in NYC as she settles into her college & urban life. And prayers as you continue to trust in faith for her safety & success.