Today is another hard parenting day. All those days of crying, tantrums, sick children, character training, late nights, up-all-night did nothing to prepare me for this day. Although I knew it was coming, and the days seemed really long when we were in the midst of them, I still did not want this day to come, for THOSE days to end.
Today’s the day that we drop our middle child off at college and although we have gone through this before, it is still not easy. In some ways this one is even harder because now we know. We know that it will never be the same. He will come home for visits and for breaks but he will never again live at home.
Every night as I would pass his bedroom on my way to bed, he was usually sitting at his computer so I would stop in for a good night kiss or a chat. But tonight all that will be different. His room will be empty. And although it’s been empty before, this is a different kind of empty. And although he is not going far away, he is still going away. And it is because I have done this before with my firstborn that I know that our relationship will change. It will never be like it was before. And I know in my head that this is the way it needs to be. He is grown up now. He is a man. But this mama’s heart is broken.
This is the child who was never ashamed of his parents, who always hugged and kissed his mama in public, who told me how pretty I looked. (Just yesterday he told me I looked so cute! He’s gonna make an amazing husband one day! I’m tellin’ ya!) His love language is Physical Touch and Words so he is quick to give a hug and a compliment. After the first one left us reeling in the teenaged years, this one was easy. No drama. No heartache. Come to find out, not all teenagers make life hard for parents! Phew!
I asked him at dinner a couple of nights ago what he was most looking forward to in college and his answer did not surprise me, “The people,” he replied instantly. This boy knows how to make friends and he loves deep conversations so he is relishing the prospect of new relationships. I’m not worried about him. It’s me that I’m concerned for. I look forward to seeing what his future brings but today, today is a day of mourning for what has been. Today is a hard parenting day. But I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
I’ll be spamming social media with pictures of move-in day. So if you want to see me in pictures of dark glasses (his future’s so bright and my eyes will be puffy) you can follow along over there. Instagram. Facebook.
Photography by Eternal Crown