The day that most parents both dread and look forward to is here. After an incredible 18 years of raising two amazing young people, tomorrow is the day we let them go. We are off to taking our children to college. I really can't believe it. This past week has been anything but easy, but also had some wonderful moments to cherish.
I've been fighting a cold all week and losing. My daughter has been sick for a week. No antibiotic can fix what ails me. I was told that a cold is your body ready to lose something. Well, my body might be ready, but I'm not. Don't get me wrong, I know that this is part of the evolution of child-rearing but the terror that I didn't teach them enough is nagging at me all the time. It's not a rational thought. It's irrational fear. It's a very exciting time and I also know that. Please, don't worry about me. I'm not expressing this for pity or morale boost. All the parents of college freshman are having many of the same conflicting feelings: nervous, happy, scared, excited. It's my mantra right now.
I hear the birds and their babies. I know that this is mirroring the same cycle. It is time to let go and pray that I have imparted all the knowledge and wisdom to help them maneuver through life. This period of life seems much easier for birds. They encourage them to fly. That's the Mommy bird's job, but oy, it's not easy. Life is about to change forever. No more knowing where they are and when they come home. I have tried to practice that this summer. It's amusing because our parents never knew where we were. There were no cell phones. We managed to grow up in one piece. Maybe some better than others, but we figured it out.
I am not the first parent to go through this. I will not be the last either, but we all go through it both differently and the same. The only thing that may change my evolution is it's two at a time. It's ripping a bandaid off really quickly. One huge pain and recovery. I've been joking that there will be a new river down 3rd Avenue in New York City. I will be fine. It will hurt. It will be quiet. It will be new. It will be uncomfortable. I will survive.
To all the parents of college freshman, cherish every last second that you can, remember what's important, try to let go of all the small stuff. How you say goodbye is what they will remember until Thanksgiving. And freshman, be kind to your parents. I've always said that it's much more exciting and easier for the ones leaving than the ones staying. This time we are all going on new adventures.