Do you remember your first few days, weeks—years!—with your first child? How everything was new and different. You were in over your head, never having faced any of these situations in quite the same way before.
If your firstborn is anything like mine, that child has never ceased to be your adventure!
My daughter is amazing. She strong and smart and unafraid. Eleven years ago this fall, she left for college in another state, not knowing not a soul in that state. After two years, she completely changed her major (from culinary arts to biology!) and still managed to graduation only a semester late, all while rising to the office of president of her sorority by her senior year.
She came home for a few months after graduation, then decided her job was a dead end and she needed more schooling to do what she wanted to do—medical research. She applied to grad schools. Moved to Philadelphia, again knowing no one (although this time her aunt and uncle lived a little over an hour away, her grandparents three hours). She worked full time in a pharmaceutical lab while carrying a full load for her master’s degree.
Then she decided her job would still be a dead end without a Ph.D. So it was back to Texas to live in the lab for three years. When she finished last July, she was burned out. She took a job in Dallas, but not in a lab. She needed something a bit less stressful. She needed to rest, and she wanted to be near family. But as the pandemic stay-at-home order closed in, she did some soul-searching. And once again she had the courage to admit she wasn’t doing exactly what she’d felt was her calling. So she started applying for Post-Doc positions.
And she got one.
Where she knows no one.
As her mom, I’m cheering her onward, praying for her to find and do the things God has gifted her to do. But as Mom, I also want to do more than cheer. I want to enter in, to walk alongside.
And so the adventure continues.
On Friday, we will pack up a rented van (she sold most of her hand-me-down furniture) with her stuff and her two dogs. We will go to my sister’s house on Saturday and stage a hooding and graduation (she was supposed to walk in May, but it was canceled, of course) and a good-bye party with family. At zero-dark-hundred Sunday morning, she and I will begin the cross-country drive.
Two and half days.
Over 1700 miles.
In a pandemic, no less.
Did I mention the dogs???
At least she already has an apartment secured once we arrive!
I know this is a special moment in time. It isn’t often a mom gets to spend a week with her just-under-thirty daughter. I intend to drink in the memories. To cherish the time. But that doesn’t mean it will be calm sailing. Because with my firstborn, it is always an adventure!
I’m going to try to chronicle our trip on Instagram, so follow along if you like! www.instagram.com/AnneMateer
Have you ever taken a road trip with one of your adult children? How did it go?