For years you've been encouraging and preparing your child to go to college. Their senior year in high school, you were counting down the days until graduation. Tears of joy flowed down your face as they walked across the stage to receive their high school diploma. Thoughts flood your mind as a reminder that in a few months, it will be time for your child to move away.
Over the next few months and weeks as you count down the days til college move in day, you're busy collecting items for the dorm room. Color coordinating the sheets, comforters and rugs. Packing clothes, cleaning supplies and food items to stock the room. Excitement builds until the day comes to load the car to deliver your most prized possession to that college or university. You've been talking about it for years, but soon, reality hits that your baby is moving away. Life as you've known it for the past 18 or so years is suddenly changing before your very eyes. You look into their bedroom, no television, no pictures, just emptiness. The tears begin to fall.
As you arrive on campus, you and your child are filled with anxiety and mixed emotions. Checking in to let the campus authorities know you are there. Getting the parking pass and lastly the key. You enter into the room where your child will call home for a while. You're working hard to arrange the furniture, make the beds, connect the electronics and put away their clothes and supplies. In a few hours, its time to make the journey back home. As you arrive back to your vehicle, final hugs, kisses and goodbyes are exchanged. The tears fall again as you are driving away leaving your son or daughter in a strange place within this big ole cruel world. But; they will be okay and so will you.
If you find yourself shedding excessive tears for what seems to be no apparent good reason, know that it is normal. You may find yourself crying when their favorite show comes on t.v. or when you walk past their empty bedroom. Although your child is alive and well, it's sort of like grief. It takes time to adjust to the new norm of your child not being in the home. Although you may feel like calling him or her every half hour, you've got to let them go. Trust that all the values and lessons you've instilled in them will sustain them as they are meeting new people and finding their way in a strange place. An older wise woman once said that children are only on loan to us. At some point, they move away and will have a life of their own. Well its true. Once they reach a certain age, life is different, but it's okay and you will adjust.
Soon, the holidays will be approaching and your child will be back in your home, eating all of your food, using your electricity, and taking up the
space that you've gotten used to being empty. Enjoy those precious moments and look forward to the time that you will spend together during school breaks.
Move in day isn't easy, but it's necessary. Opening the door to their new dorm room is an open door towards new beginnings and them finding their purpose in this world. Moving in is not the end, its only the beginning!