We came. We saw. We snagged the right apartment, we hope.
When Patty moves in August to begin her masters degree studies, she has a tiny efficiency apartment to move into. A place to call her own. She chose to pay for a furnished apartment so that she would not have to buy furniture.
I struggled with whether we should make the effort and spend the money to travel 400 miles (one way) to the university to get our feet on the ground to make the all important decision regarding where Patty would live for the next year. I said to the Lord, “I need your help.” The next day, I suddenly felt that we should go. I can’t explain it. That evening I came home from work and a substantial check had arrived in the mail as the result of an overpayment in our escrow fund.
We made a hotel reservation and I took the the days off from work. I prepared my mind to be the only driver for an 800 mile trip. My friend lent us her GPS for the trip.
I had to trust the instructions of the GPS (“Tom”) to get us through multiple cities with many construction zones, merging and forking major highways. I also had to learn to trust Patty, who navigated the entire trip. I couldn’t look at Tom’s screen or her cell phone map. Listening to her directions was the only choice. We were very tired when we arrived, but we made it safely to our destinations. 11 hours there, and 9 hours back.
When we arrived in the college town, we found information regarding housing we couldn’t see on online maps and Google Earth. The University is in mountainous country. The city and campus are perched on steep hills. We eliminated one complex based on its location on a steep hill. There really is no substitute for being there.
As we neared the end of our journey there, Patty became very quiet. I spoke about the way the mountains would be part of her experience. She said she was feeling sad about leaving home.
“You don’t have to go,” I said. “The decision is not set in stone.”
“Don’t try to minimize my feelings,” she answered. “I am allowed to feel sad about leaving home.”
My daughter is about to strike out on her own. On the second night, I could not sleep as I struggled with how she was going to make it on her own. I wanted to keep her safe. To make sure she had enough to eat. To get around on her own. After many sleepless hours, I said to the Lord, “I need your help.” I finally fell asleep.
The next day, she signed the lease for her first apartment. She didn’t need me to be a guarantor. Her award letter detailing her tuition waiver and stipend was enough. She has already shown her ability to provide her own way.
Our trip there and back again was essential, important. And part of the process of letting go and letting her find her wings.