I know some of you out there are feeling me on this one. Whether you have a child heading back to college or you’re sending your firstborn off—like me—I can’t imagine this time of year gets any easier. Or does it? I sure hope it does because, my oh my, do I have all the feels right now! I’m pretty sure there should be an orientation for first-time college parents, too. One where they prep you for the months and years ahead by telling you you’ve done enough, that your grown child will be just fine, and then maybe at the end they could toss in a big stuffy you can squeeze when you’re missing them—too much?
As parents, I feel like you think about this day but it’s hard to imagine it will ever come. One second, you’re wiping their bum and the next they’re flying out of this cozy nest you’ve provided them. We’ve spent their entire youth teaching them everything we can in hopes that one day it’ll help them to succeed on their own. Now that the time has come, soooo many questions have popped into my head…
Should I tell him to tidy his room at 17 or is it too late?!
Does he know that his clothes won’t wash and fold themselves?
Will he make friends, too many friends, so many friends he’ll forget to study?!
What about salad, will he ever eat one again, and if he does will he pick romaine vs. iceberg?
I think I’ve thought about everything there is to think of, especially about whether he’ll make healthy food choices while he’s away from home. As I’m sure you can imagine, I’ve put a lot of time and energy into making sure my kids value good nutrition. The dream being that they of course continue down this healthy food path as young adults going off on their own, but I’m not so sure my lessons of balanced meals are any match for a university meal plan! I know in my first year I went crazy on chocolate—it works wonders on stress, ha. My son recently has noted that even though at home we eat a mix of brown and white rice that he’ll only eat white rice once he leaves home—gasp! Either he’s telling the truth, or he knows exactly how to make me toss and turn in my sleep. Either way, if his idea of living on the edge is eating white vs. brown rice, we might be okay!
As you can see, I’ve spent the last year in a wild mix of emotions—from being thrilled about my son’s next big chapter to being totally bummed that he’s leaving. Who came up with the timing for university anyway? Just when your kids get to the point where they’re super fun to be around, and they actually enjoy your company, you have to send them off to live someplace else. Not cool. At one point I questioned whether his wanting to go away to school was a sign that he couldn’t wait to get out of here. The truth is, is that what we’ve done has been enough. In fact, we did so well preparing him for what’s next that he has the confidence to go, do, learn and grow all on his own. We’ve taught him how to think for himself, we’ve guided him in the right direction, and even though he’s heading off to university it doesn’t mean he still won’t need us from time to time. I mean, who else is going to force him to wear the correct length pants for things like his high school graduation? (Me, this mom…always.)
Rebecca Brady | The Top Seed
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