Today was a very important day in my life as a Dad - one of my daughters (Kate - 19) has moved out of our family home to an apartment. I guess I always knew that this day was coming, but it is nevertheless a hard milestone for a father to see his daughter move out - she is the first to do so in our family. I am unsure of my emotions - part of me is proud of her that she wants to have her own life and live independently from home, but part of me still wants my "little girl" to be with us at home.
Photo by Bonnie Cullen.
When I went to College (Trinity) in October 1978 (same age as Kate), I was obliged to live away from home as my home town Carnew is about 80km from Trinity. My first accommodation was in digs with a family where the man of the house regularly regaled me about his gay exploits and tried to seduce me on a few occasions. Not shocking today, but very much so to a completely innocent lad like me back in 1978 (I resisted his overtures!). I was terrified of living away from home and this didn't help. Thankfully my second and subsequent years in College were spent in a variety of digs, apartments, and Rooms in Trinity. Much more independence - and (I should say) much more growing up, when I learned to fend for myself and made a lot of good friends. It was an important and character forming part of my life.
I envy Kate starting out like this - I know she will thrive on the independence and freedom that living away from home provides. I wish I was 30 years younger and starting out again on this road.
I tweeted today about this when I was having my morning cup of tea: "First of my family leaves the nest today as 19 year old daughter moves out - not sure if I'm happy or sad".