Off to College

by Jay Fadden

Empty college classroom

Friday, everything changes. We are going to pack our car and drive our oldest daughter, Amelia, to Assumption College for her freshman year. What happened to my little girl I could hold in one arm? The child I looked at with love? Where is my little girl? She now takes her next step in life without us beside her. We can only hope that we have instilled the right thoughts in her so that she will make the right decisions in a complicated new environment.

I have to admit that I am a bit sad, nervous, and also excited. As big a change as this is for Amelia, it is just as big a change for me, Shirley, James, and Ethan. A part of all of us is leaving, and that hurts. We are a close family, and when one of us is missing, that affects all of us. Shirley will now be surrounded by men. That special bond between a mother and a daughter will not be diminished, but will be more distant. James will not have his sister to talk to every day as he navigates the complexities of high school life. Then there is Ethan. I asked him his thoughts about his sister going to college, and he said he would be lonely. Ethan and Amelia are especially close. Ethan does not hang out with a lot of friends, so this is an especially tough blow for him. Of course, I am hit with the reality that nothing will ever be the same.

So with all that as background, I have to say that I am thrilled for Amelia. She is a kind and thoughtful young lady with so much to offer the Assumption College community. She will grow as a person and has so much life ahead of her. The world is hers to conquer, and for the first time in her life, she is responsible for every choice and decision. She is now an adult.

I love Amelia with all my heart and I cannot wait to see what her future holds. While my role in her life has diminished, my expectations have not. Friday, we write a new chapter for all of the Fadden family, and may it be filled with love and happiness. Watch out, world: here comes Amelia!


Off to College