7.05.2012

A Mother's Guide to Surviving College

I need one. We were at a bookstore recently and Tony jokingly picked up a book with a title something like, "Surviving Freshman Year for College Students." Ha, ha. When I was eighteen all I wanted to do was leave home, and live somewhere else while my parents footed the bill. No worries, what's there to survive? Mothers of college students on the other hand...I've been in a state of denial all year and here we are in July and I'm filling out form after form and feel like I'm signing my kid over to someone else. Most days I'm so busy that it stays far enough in the back of my mind, but today I'm undone. I hover somewhere between wanting to appear stoic and unaffected so that its easier for him to leave, but then wanting to hold on to him sobbing that I don't want him to grow up and move along. I haven't had to let him go before this. There is no first day of kindergarten for home schoolers, nothing to prepare a mommy. Its horrible thoughts that run through my head like can I really trust these people to teach my son and can I drive away and leave him to live in this place and know that he's going to be okay? NO, I don't have that guarantee and suddenly he's my little boy crying because he fell down and hurt himself or somebody hurt his feelings and I just want to punch somebody or something to make him feel good again. My heart aches as I look at my boy turned man and realize I can't make it better for him and I shouldn't. His choices are his own and I have to stand back and watch him get hurt and get back up in his own strength. I can't rush in to kiss the booboos and brush off his hands this time. This is that moment I've been preparing him for. Pouring all my love into a little boy's heart and directing him down the right way. Giving him the little assurances that even when things don't go our way there is still a Plan and its going to work out. My voice tells him about my plans for his room once he's gone. My arms bring him boxes to pack. But in the meantime while he packs his things and decides what to take and what to leave, I stand back and watch him with my heart toggling between fear and pride, pain and love.

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