This week I said a tearful goodbye to my seventeen-year daughter who is doing a study abroad high-school program in Israel for two months. And through my tears, I knew that it was important for me to let her know that even though I was crying, I still thought she was doing the right thing. Go, fly away little bird.
I’ll miss her bunches and bunches, but I let her go, because that’s what mothers do.
Sara Shira says
Just discovered your site today and love what you’re doing – thank you for sharing and encouraging! I live in Jerusalem and one of our sons went to study in the U.S. as a teen, so I know these motherly growing pains deeply. It’s like giving birth again. Breathing deeply helps. And then, it’s our time to fly, as well!
You are a brave mom like so many others out there.It might help to read Khalil Gibran on this–Your children are not your children
They are born out of life’s longing for itself
Hard as it is, we have to let go and let them fly!
I know that it is hard to let go. But, this is just the beginning. She will only be gone for a little while this time. Then she will be going off to college in about a year and she will be gone for some years. Then in about 4 or 5 years, marriage. She will be gone even longer. Praying for you and your daughter as she travel along the way. That the Lord keep her safe from all harm and danger.
My son went to work in the USA for two solid years! I was devistated. At the Airport He walked in through the doors not even looking back! Suppose he didn’t want to.I was heartbroken … After 18 months we paid him a visit in NYNY for 3 weeks. One of my most prescious memories was a day we spent in Manhatten. The weather was super after a cold spell in Spring and we strolled along Broadway from Chinatown up to The Times Square. Chatting, taking photographs, shopping,window shopping, having lunch in a park and just making up lost time and storing love for the next lonely months before our long journey back to South Africa. America and it’s people was good for my son! I hope he will be able one day to return. So ,through aal one’s tears the experience is rich in memories. Wow! I think she is smart! Only 17 years old!
Mala Kumar says
I can very well relate this situation as my elder son too is studying away from home. The day he left for his university I knew it was time to snap the umbical cord for sometime, till he would be ready to come back home all well read and loaded with knowledge from outside world. All the best!!!!!!!!!
I understand you Barbara what it means when your child is away from you. It is really as like as opening new doors for your treasure whose name is Daughter. I had my eyes full of tears two summers (2009-2010) when she left me for America, New York City. I felt lost myself but I was happy that my child could live and work there very very far from home. Now we are together and we are dreaming to visit this great country again. Let the dreams of our daughters come true!God bless us! God bless you, Dear Barbara!
I know how you feel. My friend moved to japan when I was six and we were best friends and she was my only friend. make sure you keep in touch with her. GOD BLESS YOU
Be strong Barbara you have given her all she needs to fly. So smile between the tears and know she will be soaring to greater heights because of it.
I THINK THAT’S SO SAD THAT YOUR DAUGHTER IS LEAVING YOU……
Vukani Nyirenda says
Good for you Barbra. I would have felt let down if you had acted differently. Mothers are mothers, but my experience at Wurzweler School of Socisl Work, Yeshiva University, taught that a Jewish mother was special; a pllar of the family. I am surer your daughter rerlished ther sweet tears more than anybody can tell. Just my two penny.
khalil sardarzaei says
This is not strange because every people have to say good bye to his life when he/she dies. Every of us ensure about the fact that a time comes we have to leave our belongings. Saying good bye for going to study abroad is not a good bye for ever. It is a good bye that is anticipating another rejoining and meeting.
In my life there was a time that I had to say good bye to my family to go to another city for study but that was not a loss nor for them neither for me. I hope a good study for your daughter.
A Persian poet says “It takes many traveling for a ignorant to become conscious”, a travel to a new country is as like as opening new doors toward your daughter .it is a new born and will make her more intelligent .
Don’t worry she will soon be back home and full of new experiences and a great knowledge. As you say is good for her and I’m sure that you agree with me if I say WHAT IS GOOD FOR HER IS GOOD FOR YOU!
I asked God why do you have to create pain and hurt? Why not all laughter & cheers? Why do we have to cry? Why not all smile painted in our face? God got my hand & said “my son when your happy you forget me,sometimes i let you experience pain for you to recognized me, Remember! thru pain i making you a fighter; the more you cry, the more you are hurt, the stronger you become”. I smiled, then God added “Always remember that whatever happens It happens for a purpose, I always give a rainbow after the rain.
Well, I understand what you are going through. I had to say goodbye to my best friend-she transfered schools. We still talk, and I hope you still talk with your daughter. Also, I had a experience with one of my good friends, which was extremely sad. He died and it took me a while to figure out why he died and why God wanted to take him. I think that God made a calling on your daughter and told her that she should go there. In my opinion, it’ll be hard for you to accept the fact the she isn’t living with you right now. But she’ll come back, and I KNOW that she is thinking about you like you are with her.
you dont have to feel bad realy..she will soon be back b4 the twinkle of an eye….just keep praying for her….and advice her to desist from bad friends…..thank God for technology u can always call her,skpe with her,and even send her emails..GOD BLESS YOU..
Go safe, come safe. My oldest, two years ago at age sixteen, was in Israel at an ulpan for a summer. It takes a while to set the table for one less, and to stop calling for them. I was so proud of him. He kept in touch, he made friends, he wasn’t a tourist, so no one treated him that way. He learned the transport system and he was was cautious – as anyone visiting any country should be. We didn’t cry as we knew there was nothing to cry about – unless it would have been tears of joy. If I am not sure about something, I bring that up long before the event and they will know exactly how I feel. Then we work through it. It sounds like you may have let her go feeling you were doubtful in your support of her, as you told her she was doing the right thing, not that you thought she was doing the right thing – and you were crying. You have given your daughter a wonderful opportunity. There is no need to second guess it – only to truly support it with your heart and soul. She is in a land that will give her a feeling no other place in the world will. If she doesn’t already have the travel prayer, send it to her to say every day and encourage her to take full advantage of all Israel has to offer.
Kerry Lynn says
I can’t even imagine what you must be going through right now. I have one little boy & he’s four and a half years old getting ready to begin Kindergarten later this year! YIKES! The time just seems to fly by. I’m sure that your daughter realizes how much you love her and only want the best for her. I do believe that she will spread her wings and fly during her travels abroad. I do wish you the best of luck and hope that all goes well for you and your entire family!
I live in New Zealand. My children and grandchildren live a long way from where I do and I miss them heaps. For the first time last year I decided to take in Japanese students coming to New Zealand. I have one staying with me at present – a 16 year old girl – sweet, delightful and I am thoroughly enjoying having her stay. I look at her and think how hard it must be for a child to leave her family and country and all that is familiar to her to come and stay in a completely different country, way of life, language, etc. How hard it must be for the families of these children to say goodbye to them for 3 months. I have to say I care for this child as I would my own children/grandchildren and make sure there is no homesickness or worries she might have to upset her stay. We play charades and pictionary half the time to try and make ourselves understood properly, but that is all part of the fun and learning between us. Her friend also comes and stays some weekends which I encourage. I have also downloaded a program onto my computer which allows us to make free toll calls to various countries, not all, around the world, including Japan so other than her emails to her family, Miyu can phone her family which I know both she and her family really appreciate. I can understand how hard it must be for you parents to say goodbye to your children when they travel so far away with their education, and I am not so sure that I could be any different to you. I just wanted to let you know how it is for someone who enjoys having these children come to live with them for the few months they are away. It is a wonderful thing you do letting you children go and learn from their experiences. Bless all of you.
Joyce Cone says
When my first child went away to college, I dropped her off in St. Louis and cried all the way back to Arizona. She successfully navigated her way through school and has a stunning career. We laugh about my growing pains. As my mother always said, “This, too, shall pass.”
my kids are too small.I have not gone thru this phase till. as i found your daughter can hold herself.So let her fly,dont keep her in your garden.
Both of my daughters did Study Abroad for 5 months, one in Australia and one in Spain. It is so exciting for you when you hear about all of the amazing things they are experiencing. It’s great to live vicariously through your children:)
Juli Olson says
Is she by chance at High School in Israel? My senior year of high school (When I was 17 also) I went on that program, two months of intensive study and travel through Israel, and stayed on the Hod Ha’sharon Campus. It was one of the few most incredible experiences of my life and definitely helped shape the person I am today. Though it has been… cough… over 20 years since I was there. UGH! I have confidence that the program is as amazing as ever. You will miss her and she will miss you, but imagine what this experience will mean for her future! She will have an incredible time!
As difficult as it is to let our children leave the nest for the first time, it’s worth each bittersweet tear to give them that freedom. They will thrive on their own, and they’ll cherish the bond with family and home ever more so. You know your job was done well when they succeed on their own and begin to “sound like you” after a few years 8-D. What’s more difficult for me now – years after my girls finished college and married – is being a grandmother living 350 miles away. It gets harder for me to leave the girls and grandkids behind after every visit. Different tears, but just as powerful. Sigh, I feel your ache … it will be okay.
I sent my oldest son 1200 miles away to college this fall. Those certainly won’t be your only tears, but the tears of pride make up for the tears of sadness.
My daughter left our house for China. She had finish school with a fine arts degree. She taught English in a Chinese school and spent 3 years in Beijing. The day she left Miami, I felt emptiness, saddness, aprehension, and I missed her the minute we pulled out of the airport. Of course, she was older than your daughter, she was 24.We talked often, we skyped every week, and we emailed back a forth a lot. My daughter, I found out, is mature and can hold her own without me. Today, she is in California and she is able to ask for help when needed, and to talk to me about her life and ask for advise. So let her fly, and keep her within your garden.