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Our Family’s Big Change Sending Our Eldest Daughter off to College
T here’s been a big change in the Amorebieta household this fall. My wife and I sent our eldest daughter, Kennidi, off to college, and now we’re adjusting to life with two kids in the house while learning how to be parents to a kid in college. So far, we’ve been pretty lucky in this transition, especially since Kennidi decided to attend her parents’ alma mater. Kennidi started her first year of college at Boise State University this fall, moving just across town from her family, which meant that we were able to move her in and come home all in one day. Meanwhile, other parents were going out for a “final meal” with their son or daughter just hours before ripping off the Band-Aid and leaving them in a strange, new town. The day we moved Kennidi in, she and my wife were reserved. I’m not sure if it was nerves or anxiety about the move, but they weren’t nearly as excited as I was. I was chatty, running around talking about how cool everything was. I was stoked to see this beginning of a new chapter in Kennidi’s life, while reminiscing about memories from my college days at BSU. Kennidi has been hostessing at a local restaurant this summer, and she’s continuing that work as she goes to school. Starting college and balancing work at the same time was a bit of a shock for Kennidi, who swore she was the only student on campus doing so. The first few weeks living away from home weren’t super easy for her, either. The first week was the hardest, and the second week was awful. Making friends gets hard when you’re an adult, and having to adjust to a move and a new life alongside it can be daunting.
My wife was the empathetic one, reminding Kennidi everything would be okay, that it was a transition period, and that she would work through it. I was more of the realist, there to remind her that she isn’t the only one in her situation. Navigating that kind of parenting is new to us, especially since she is no longer in our home. About a month into it, as she was settling into a routine, getting used to her new life, suddenly things got a little easier and her phone calls were happier. That’s the other thing, too — she calls now! Before it was all texting, but now we get to hear her voice and have conversations with her regularly. Back home, it’s not like much has changed. My two youngest kids are pretty much teenagers about the whole situation — it’s basically “whatever” to them. But it is crazy how those dishes Kennidi was blamed for piling up in our sink are still magically there. I like to tease my other two kids by saying, “Oh, was Kennidi home this afternoon?” They don’t find it as funny as I do. With Thanksgiving coming up, we’re reaching another transition. Since she’s so close, she could come home for the holiday — but will she? We’re not sure, and since she’s “on her own now,” that’s up to her. This is something about the transition we’ve been having to learn along the way. But no matter how many things are up to her to decide, she’ll never really be on her own. She’s still our Kennidi, even if she now lives across town.
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