The image, Transition, was taken during a visit to see my daughter at college last February. As I photographed the students crossing campus and disappearing into my lens, they became ideal subjects for my ongoing Phantoms series. However viewing the image now, I can’t help but reflect on her upcoming graduation in May.
As my daughter crosses over the threshold into adulthood, I identify with how exciting yet stressful that time of life can be. Although I’ve come a long way, it’s still not easy to separate my life from hers—the plight of most parents, especially mothers. So thoughts of her transition mingle with mine.
After growing up in a small Jersey town and studying in Upstate New York, I recall landing in New York City with a corporate job and an apartment on the Upper West Side. Working on the 32nd floor of a skyscaper, living with four roommates, all complete strangers, and taking a subway each morning was a dramatic change for me–stimulating yet quite overwhelming.
Although my daughter was raised in a tinier town here on Long Island, she’ll be living and working in the same city where she studied along with several of her college friends. So I’m optimistic that her transition won’t be too difficult. I’m also hopeful that the world has become a more welcoming place for a young woman to explore, prosper and grow…
As for me, the change is bittersweet. It’s sad to watch her innocence slip away, yet exciting to anticipate what will come next. These days I’m striving to live in the present and not dwell too much on the past. And her transition means that now I’m a bonafide empty-nester–a silly term that makes me feel feathery–and leathery?
To see image go to Transition
©Meryl Spiegel 2012–All rights reserved–No reproduction without permission.