28 Apr WHAT? I survived freshman year!
I wrote a letter to my oldest son last year when he was leaving for college for the first time. I never shared it. I thought I would share it now with “a year later” reflection. (To read my letter, click on the image)
On reflection of a child leaving for college, here is what I experienced:
- I literally cried spontaneously every few days after we dropped our son off. This happened while driving the car, in stores…at work. My friends experienced the same thing. It’s normal. It’s like grieving the end of a relationship. Eventually the crying stopped.
- My friends were the best support group. We all lamented together and we celebrated together. XO to all of them.
- Parenting did not end. I am still MOM as he called for guidance, advice, money, wish items and sometimes I still got to lecture him for bad choices.
- I survived. He survived. We thrived.
- Texting is awesome, but also a curse. I could reach him most times…but sometimes when he didn’t respond for days…it caused stress and worst case scenario stories in my head. He would text and I would be working and could not respond. Set up mutual rules for texting or contact so expectations are comfortable.
- I overly smothered my other son and our dog for a while, but it normalized as they both hid. We found a new balance and I found Pinterest. Oh yeah, and my husband.
- A new relationship has formed with my son. Our talks are a little more adult, we talk politics, news and share fun stories. He and his brother seem closer and appreciate each other more. Distance helped gain perspective and appreciation.
- He came home to visit more than I anticipated. I got to feed him, hug him and complain about all his dirty laundry.
- I crafted care packages with homey stuff to make him feel better when he was sick or iffy. The process helped both of us feel better. Amazon Prime was also an amazing friend.
- I appreciate the unique adult he is becoming with unique ideas and goals, “I want to study abroad in Germany,”, “I want to join a fraternity”. “I think I should add a few psychology classes into my schedule”, “I eventually want to work in California”. My baby is on his own path, it’s the best reality show ever.
- Lastly, he’s coming back home….for 3 months.
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