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Letter to a Plum: On Daughters Leaving for College

My dear friend recently took her daughter to college for the first time. She has been in a swirl of excitement and activity and I haven’t had the chance to sit with her and process and support her the way I’d like. In moments like this, I sometimes write fantasy letters: saying the thing I wish I could say to the friend I can’t support in person.

Hey, friend,

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge what’s happening in your world right now. From pride and excitement to nostalgia and perhaps a touch of apprehension.... I want you to know that I'm here for you, just as you've been there for your daughter every step of the way.

I want to commend you on the incredible job you've done as a parent. Your dedication, love, and guidance have played a pivotal role in shaping the remarkable young woman your daughter has become. And look at the options you gave her! And look at the one she chose! It's a testament to your parenting that she's now ready to take on this new adventure.

I know there will be tremendous sadness as she leaves the nest, remember that this is a time for growth, not just for her but for you as well. It's an opportunity for you to rediscover some of your own passions and interests that may have taken a backseat during the years of focused parenting.

Your daughter's departure doesn't diminish your role in her life; instead, it transforms it. As she embarks on this journey of self-discovery and academic pursuit, your support and love will continue to be her anchor. Even though she may be physically distant, your bond will only strengthen with each conversation, visit, and shared moment.

Don't forget to take care of yourself during this transition. Lean on your friends and family, including me, whenever you need a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on. You're not alone in this.

As you watch your daughter spread her wings and explore new horizons, take pride in the strong foundation you've provided for her. She's well-equipped to face the challenges and adventures that college life will bring.

I'm excited to see how she thrives in this new chapter of her life and how your relationship continues to evolve. Remember that you have a community of friends who care deeply about you and are here to celebrate her successes, offer a comforting presence during challenging moments, and share in the joy of your family's journey.

Wishing you and your daughter all the best in this exciting new chapter. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you ever want to talk or if there's anything I can do to support you during this time.

With Love and Connection,