That faint fluttering you hear across the country this week, is the pang of parents’ heavy hearts. The whirring sound is a flurry of college kids hastily learning to flap their wings. However painful the process of leaving home is for both parents and kids, a more frightening prospect is having your child never leave home.
I was certain it would be easier the second time around. Dropping my man-child off at St. FX for his 2nd year should have been a breeze, but I’m lousy at throwing caution to the wind. The curious side of boys is even though you’re only young once, you can be immature forever.
We spent three glorious days swapping stories and sharing a pint. And then, without warning, he dismissed me. Dropped me like a hot potato the moment his roommates arrived. After a day’s perspective, I was reminded not to make this about me. I enjoyed the same heady sense of freedom 35 years ago when my parents liberated me.
Kids will sink, but if they wanna keep their heads above water, they’ll eventually learn to swim. University is unique because if you relax for 10 seconds, suddenly you’re failing 11 classes, even though you’re only taking five. In the same vein, parents are wading into uncharted waters as they relinquish command of the family ship.
The irony isn’t lost that we gently rear our crotch fruit for all these years, only to have them leave when they get really interesting. As my beloved son’s world expands, so does his mind. I’m a mother, this is my circus, these are my monkeys. But I understand, at least for now, the greatest proof of love is letting go.
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