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Staying in Touch While Letting Her Go

Parent Perspective - Vivien Chen

One of the biggest questions my husband and I asked before sending our daughter, who is also our oldest child, away to Barnard was how we can stay in close touch with her as well as let her go.

Although we live in the city, we promised her not to visit her without her invitation. The letter-writing practice I was used to in college sounds like an ancient fairy tale. Although, a rarity in her generation, she still writes letters, it seems reserved only to her childhood friend, who now lives in Europe, and honored as a ritual to celebrate their intimate past. Writing us would seem too time-consuming and too in-depth. Waiting to hear from post would seem too slow-moving and impossible for us.

Emails are fast and flexible yet we imagine emails from parents could be easily overlooked among a million of other emails in a freshman’s email box. Wireless calls could be less likely overlooked, yet easily overheard or felt intrusive. So, in addition to all the modern communication gadgets including emails and phone calls, we started text messaging -instant, private and unobtrusive, a great way of staying in touch while letting go.