A Confused Dad’s Reflections On His Daughter Going To College

THE Relationship Blog


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I do not know what happened. The default emotional state for most men is confusion and I am no different. My biggest issues with my daughter going to college is the paradoxical state of being that I am living in now.  I am the old man father of a college student while also being the young father of a 7 and a 4 year old. I know that I am disconnected at one moment and overly connected, to the point of paranoia, at other moments.

Now I am asking myself, how does this all effect me? I need to get my mind around the idea of a new family dynamic. This new structure has a wife who I am emotionally, spiritually and (almost) physically attached at the hip, two small boys firmly up my ass (until they grow up a little more) and a daughter who is successful in college. Of course she will be successful because she is always successful. Oddly enough, my concerns for her at this moment are few. Jeannie is short because she has an angel firmly perched on her shoulder.

So, what about me? How am I changing? I can understand why men have midlife crisis. (No, my love, I am not planning on going insane and having an affair with some little coed.) I understand the need to grab a hold of something that I can control. My daughter’s life, of which I am so very much a part, is not mine to control. I am only along for the ride. And the worst part is that I have no idea where I am going or when the next pee brake will happen.

So I am confused, which we all know is a lie. Confusion is the state that we men like to use instead of committing to an emotion. I call it confused because I refuse to say that I am afraid that I am old. I am confused because I will not admit that I need my daughter more than she needs me. I am confused because I want my little boys to go off to college before my youth fades while still staying 7 and 4 forever. I am confused because I have everything that I always wanted and can’t help the feeling that I want to turn it all back and start again. Only to have the same outcome because it is perfect.

How confusing is that?

One comment

  • Not confusing at all, Paul. I gotcha! You are sad, scared, worried, excited, pleased, proud, all wrapped up in a state of wonder, of “what the hell just happened?” She was just a little baby with scabies just a few days ago, and now you will be driving away from her only to see her again at Thanksgiving. Welcome to adult parenthood! Not easy my brother, but it’s a developmental stage that we adults must go through. I am here for you!

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