Three years ago, my husband and I sent our oldest son off to University. He chose to attend a school three hours away from his home. Despite the ease of hopping in a car and driving to visit him, I had a really hard time letting go and celebrating his new phase in his life. I worried so much about him: was he eating regularly, was he studying and prioritizing his time, how was he adjusting to living in a dorm room with a roommate, and if he was making friends.
This year our second son leaves for University in mid-August. Unlike his older brother, he chose a school three states away. My husband, myself, and son #2 visited the school for orientation. Beautiful campus, small campus, small school, and my son loves it. Admittedly, I do too-I just hate the distance. Whoever said that sending kids off to college was emotionally easy told a big fat lie.
Recently, we confirming with all three of the boys about an upcoming trip to Chicago. Our oldest told us he couldn’t go because he had started a new job and couldn’t ask for time off, the youngest confirmed he was going, and the second child said, “I kind of wanted to stay home and hang with friends.” Wait a minute-what?! I said something to him in reference to he’s already been hanging out with friends most of this summer and was really counting on spending a vacation with him before he left for college. I was met with the reply, “Mom, you’ve seen me every day for 18 years. It looks like you’d be able to deal with me being gone for three months until Christmas.”
That’s how I am going to look at things when he leaves in August: he’s only gone for three months. And slowly the denial that the little boy who professed to never want to grow up and would never leave home indeed DID grow up and IS leaving home will start to dissipate…..
Now I wonder about his job selection: Will he not want to grow up to be an ice cream man anymore?