I've been a long distance parent for 6 years now and I've finally come to realize my daughters are very strong individuals.
They opted to be independent--at 15 and 16-- after given that opportunity by the Texas Court System. Children are deemed competent at 15-- based on the definition of legal age--to make their own choices, according to Texas law.
So, the girls chose to stay in Texas with their father. Both were born in Texas, they argued, and all their friends were there. Truth be told, the three of them lived together less than 6 months. The girls were living independently at far too young an age.
And here we are 6 years later.
You have to learn to trust your decisions... have faith that you made the best decision based on the information you had at that particular time.
The high dollar Texas lawyer who shared that piece of wisdom was worth every penny I paid him. He and I changed Texas history by upsetting the Texas Firefighter's pension fund, when representatives stated they did not recognize QDROS. Needless to say, they do now.
Change is indeed, inevitable.
I get phone calls from both my daughters pretty regularly--3 or 4 times a week. Anytime there's a controversy, both will call within an hour or so of the other. I listen. They talk.
I offer encouragement in dealing with life's difficulties. I tell them worries today are replaced with new ones next month or next year. I advise them to continue developing their coping skills. Trust their instincts. Decide what kind of life they want and make it happen.
All this time, I have worried myself sick because they were on their own. But I've tried to find comfort in the core ideals and morality I impressed upon as little girls. On the occasions I forget this--and panic-- JB graciously reminds me. He tells me these childhood lessons I have taught them... will sustain them in any crisis.