The Third Time is Not The Charm


You can neither walk through the entryway of my home right now nor can you find a place to sit in the living room. In fact, if you were to come into my house at this moment you might take one look at the amount of overturned clothing, scattered shoes, random assortment of towels, toiletries and trash as well as the strewn about suitcases and believe we’d been robbed.

That is, of course, unless you’ve sent a child off to college. Then you’d understand exactly what was going on.

Tomorrow morning, my third daughter steps onto a plane to head off to school some 2,475 miles (but who’s counting?) from the home she has known for the past 18 years.

You might think that this being the third time that it’s easier.

You’d be wrong.

Sure. The logistical stuff is much easier. I know not to buy the stuff that will never be used, like a desk lamp. I know that lots of hangers, Downy wrinkle release and a good general assortment of over the counter medications and extension cords are a must.   I know to avoid Bed, Bath and Beyond at all costs. And, I know not to transport that which can be easily purchased in the city in which she will be residing.

But the emotional part: no, that’s as hard as it was the first time. And the second time. And, as I suspect it will be the fourth time.

This morning as I was out on a walk, I was listening to a podcast. As serendipity would have it, a gentleman on the podcast shared his favorite poem—a poem that happened to be one that hung on my wall all four years of my time at college, which is also the same college that my daughter will be attending.

Here it is:

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, 

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, 

When the funds are low and the debts are high, 

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, 

When care is pressing you down a bit, 

Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.


Life is queer with its twists and turns, 

As every one of us sometimes learns, 

And many a failure turns about, 

When he might have won had he stuck it out; 

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow– 

You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than, 

It seems to a faint and faltering man, 

Often the struggler has given up, 

When he might have captured the victor’s cup, 

And he learned too late when the night slipped down, 

How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out– 

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, 

And you never can tell how close you are, 

It may be near when it seems so far, 

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit– 

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

–Author Unknown

So I will be adding one more thing to the cacophony that is the packing zone.  A copy of this poem for Carissa to hang on her wall at school.

Good luck to all the kiddos beginning a new adventure this fall and stay strong parents, you’ve done a great job!