As some of you know, I was out on Friday for my daughter's high school graduation (search). Although I'm very happy for her, I'm not happy for me. I might as well been at a funeral!
Here's why: I'm going to be selfish here, but I do think it was very selfish of my little girl to grow up so fast. Apparently more than a few other dads and moms felt the same way at the graduation. And from what I can tell, our sadness has only just begun. These next eight weeks or so before college stand to be very tough. I'm not talking about my daughter. I'm talking about me! This is all about me!
But I've thought long and hard about this and I've come up with some tips on how I -- and parents in similar circumstances -- can handle this:
Tip one: Wear sunglasses the rest of the summer. Rain or shine, it doesn't matter. Each day is a tear-jerker, so they'll come in handy.
Tip two -- and this is for the parents of daughters, particularly dads, of daughters: Don't call them “Schnugems” in public. They hate that.
Tip three: Don't say, “Wanna go on a ride?” As I've discovered, although they love you, they have about a hundred people they'd rather pal around with about now ahead of you.
Tip four: Pretend your kid isn't going to college, but to camp. This way it's all just a continuation of what you've known, not the beginning of something you fear.
Tip five: "Say" you're proud your kid did so well, but "think," if only she had been left back one or two grades, all of this wouldn't be happening right now.
And tip six: When it comes time for that big goodbye in August or September, don't get emotional, keep those sunglasses on, then dash out the door, and hurry, and I do mean, hurry home.
You can always console yourself in old family videos and a box of yodels. Then maybe I'll call my daughter up and see how she's doing.
Watch Neil Cavuto's Common Sense weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on Your World with Cavuto.