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A Daughter Leaves for College
By Elaine Del Valle- The Country Club Chica
It has been less than a month since the last time I held my daughter’s little face in my hands, but not a day has gone by that I do not think of her and exactly how she looked before she went away to college.
20 years of raising this girl and then poof, she is gone.
I suppose I am lucky that she accomplished her Associates degree locally and while living at home, before leaving to a 4 year out of state college.
Not that my daughter was home much at all. Her wings sprouted on the day I gave her the keys to the car.  When she wasn’t in school, she was mostly either working or with her boyfriend.  But somehow, I felt so BUMMED. So truly sad that I couldn’t see her face, visit her at work or just know that her shoes would be there (where they shouldn’t be) to drive me crazy.
Doing groceries for the first time after she had gone was TRAUMATIC!  I now cry at the sight of Strawberry Poptarts!
I have been having dreams of my puppy flying out of my window to chase flocks of geese, all the while I am screaming, “Come back, Come back. You don’t have wings.”
Now suddenly, I feel the need to purge: The need to tell her all of the life lessons that I learned through trials and tribulations.
On Love– To love is never a personal sacrifice; Never a compromise.  Loving should feel good.  If you do not like something about the person today than you’ll really hate it after you are married. If a man ever raises a hand to you—RUN, don’t walk! If they do it once, they’ll do it forever. 
On School– Don’t waste a credit.  Get through it and always look to your future. 
On Time- Time goes by quickly.  Look back to a time when you thought that you’d never get over what you were going through. That school year you felt would never be over, that first break up, when you felt like your skin was pulled off of your body and even the air hurt, and your heart would never mend. Realize that you have made it to the other side.  Consider all of your hardships as that. Never let them bring you down. Know that you will get over it.
On Girlfriends– I heard someone say “Ask a friend which dress you should wear and always wear the other one.”  Ask your mother what you should wear and trust that it is what looks best on you.
Your Mother is your best girlfriend.  She will never steer you wrong. Your success is her success.
On Partying- First and foremost, always be safe.  Bring a buddy and watch where you put your drinks.
On Drinking- DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE. Don’t be in a car whose driver has been drinking.
On Kids- Don’t have one until you are ready to forget about your own needs ENTIRELY. Diapers and feeding won’t be hard but it will be monotonous.  You will hunger for intelligent conversations and sleep. It’s this tiny little person you will fiercely protect in a way that you never thought possible.  You will crave for a dinner out with a “can’t wait to get away from the child for an hour” mentality, but later your need to get back won’t let you finish your dessert.
On Work- there should be a future in any position you take.  Whether it be owning the McDonalds you are currently flipping burgers for or running the firm whose mailroom you are just starting at…Always consider your positions a stepping stone to greatness.
On Charity- Dedicate your time to help causes that inspire you.  It will feed your soul and make you proud of yourself.
On Home– Keep clean and organized.  Clutter is a sign of chaos. A home should be your place for relaxation and peace.
On Health– Without health you have nothing. Exercise pumps those endorphins and can light you up. Eat well so you feel good.  There are consequences to everything you put in your body.
Looking back on this month, I know that I actually talk to my daughter now more than I did before she left.  She calls to ask me things. She calls just to say hi. She sends me photos. And best of all, we share HOW VERY MUCH WE TRULY MISS ONE ANOTHER. 

About Elaine Del Valle

WGA-East/SAG-AFTRA/AEA/DG/NYWIFT, HOLA/AWNY Writer, Performer, Producer

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