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  • Writer's pictureMaria A. Mansfield

Then One Day They Leave for College!

I never used to pay too much attention to the “Back to College” Sales in the stores, because up to now I didn’t have a college bound student! -Only until this summer that is. As some of you may know, my oldest son is going to College in two weeks. He’ll fly to California so I’m sure he’ll shop there because there’s no such thing as moving “all your stuff” when you fly.

For some parents, their sons or daughters have already left. There’s an empty seat at the table and a quiet bedroom in the house. How does that feel? I’m about to find out.

Mind you, I am looking forward to my son’s college days. I will miss him terribly of course. I will go with him to settle him in, and the day I have to go I’ve already imagined it will feel as if my heart was somehow leaving my body. But here’s the thing, we see how excited he is about his future, so with my husband we’re cheering him on as his biggest fans! I feel like he’s waited all his life to start his future and he’s about to do just that. He’s going to do what he was born for: music, guitars, and writing lyrics. I’m not worried about the miles between us, because with all the technology these days, I know we can easily stay in touch.

I feel like we’ve raised him to be a responsible and independent human being and now it’s all about to play out. I have another son who’s a Junior this year doing football and it will take most weekends in the fall so I won’t be completely empty nested, at least for now!

As I was reflecting with my husband on these coming events, I was sharing with him, how I believe we only have our kids on loan for a while. I know most parents think they are “our kids”. Except that they’re really not. They are like a lease. We just have them for a while and then one day we give them back to their Owner. They will make their own choices, their own paths and certainly their own future. After all, isn’t that what we’ve done?

I have a strong hope that what does remain after they leave home is our relationship. The memories we’ve gathered. Everything we’ve poured into them and by this, I don’t mean stuff. I mean life experiences that can actually be cherished. The kind that make them think, grow and mature as healthy humans. If we’ve managed to give them a bunch of these things, then I think this is the stuff they’ll pack for life.

As parents, I think the bottom line of our lives should be to empower our kids to do even better than we did. Every parent wishes to see his kid succeed and go further in life. Hopefully, we’ve given them the vision that they can do anything they want to in life, but that they need to work hard to accomplish their dreams. Just like we did.

We have moved so many times in our lives. Yet, I still don’t do farewells very well. So I’ve already decided I won’t. I know our door is always open for when our son wants to visit, and his bedroom will stay intact, well sort of.

I’m pretty sure, our kids are not about to forget all the things we taught them. Although more is caught than taught, I know they will remember us doing things while we had no idea they were watching us and recording the whole thing on a mental video for life! What a blessing it is to have kids! What a joy to see them grow up into honorable good men and women who make us proud. Who will go onto to live their life according to their choices.

May God bless all the College Freshmen this year and give them a great year! They are about to step into a big life. I hope we’re cheering them on because I’m sure they’re counting on our support, even if it’s not showing on that “last hug for now”.

Maybe we’ll meet again for Thanksgiving or the Holidays. Whichever it is, it will be an amazing encounter. For us parents, it will seem like a year has gone by and to them, just a couple of months. Take heart, -it’s not over. It’s really just the beginning of their adult life. We should be proud of ourselves as parents!


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