I actually wrote this post earlier this week. I entitled it, “Six Ways to Survive Dropping Your Child off at College.”
It was nice. It said what we all know. We grew these baby birds so they could fly. That is the goal. And we accomplished it. They are not in our basement playing video games. Leaving The Home is Something to Celebrate.
Then yesterday happened. My husband and I took our third child to college. Here is the surprising thing. It hurt/hurts like hell.
As we drove our 18-year old, Mitch, to his seminary college in Conception, Missouri, I cried 2 of the 4.5 hours of the drive. As we walked around campus I kept looking at my massively tall man-child. I kept doing this memory thing. I thought of him as a baby. I thought of him as a toddler. I don’t think we have any pictures of him as a simple, smiling boy. He always had to be doing something a little odd.As we walked and talked and laughed, I thought to myself, I know this kid. I know his strengths. I know his weaknesses.
IT IS SO HARD TO LET HIM GO.
My stomach hurts. My heart aches. I am not sure if I am so sad because it is that time of the month or if it is because of the priest thing. And yes, I know that entering the seminary does not a priest make. There are 8 years of active discernment if, God willing, he becomes a priest.
See, with Eric and Rachel, I knew their path. Engineering courses for Eric. He’d have to figure out how to avoid the sex thing or name it nine months later. I know Rachel has basketball and education classes. I lived that life. I know it.
I know nothing of the seminary. I want to stand in God’s way and make sure too much won’t be asked of my child.
TAKING MY CHILD TO SEMINARY WAS HARD.
So today, I am quiet. I am allowing myself to cry. I am allowing my heart some room to adjust. It is a time of transition for the entire family. Yes, we are thrilled for Mitchell. And yes, I will keep busy and I will make dates with my husband and I will have coffee with friends and I will keep attending to these little birds still in the nest. I will send care packages. I will communicate with him.
But you just gotta know. Letting go is harder than it looks.
Read more about this crazy journey in this post, “Make Me Into a Hannah.”