I sat in the passenger seat of our SUV in the parking garage, hot and exhausted. Sweat from the 112-degree Phoenix summer sun ran down my spine while my eyes stayed glued to the back of my six-foot-tall baby boy walking towards the garage stairs.
Time stopped as I watched him pause on the top step. Eighteen years flew by so quickly. Didn’t we just bring him home from the hospital on a snowy March afternoon? He turned to wave, shooting us a quick smile, then disappearing down the staircase into a college campus, a new life, a new adventure, a new chapter of his life.
But where did that leave me?
Some moms might have felt the sting of him walking away. Away from our family dynamic. Away from the mother-son bond we’ve shared, and if I’m honest, have fought hard at times to maintain. Away from his need for me.
College Is a New Chapter for Parents, Too
But as my husband put the vehicle into reverse and we made our own descent from the garage, I too was entering into a new chapter of life, of motherhood. No tears fell. Perhaps because I’d been preparing for this day, really preparing for it, for the last year. Perhaps because over the past several months, I’d shed so many tears I wasn’t sure I had any left. But I believe it was because as I watched our son walk onto his college campus, his new home, I was no longer sad for me, but excited for him.
But it didn’t start this way…
As moms, we spend our days and nights pouring into, worrying over, praying for and deeply loving our kids. We build bonds. Have arguments. Make memories. Hold broken hearts. Calm fears. We taxi to playdates and practices. Prepare dinners. Plan birthday parties. Help with projects. Finish projects after they’ve fallen asleep. Make last minute runs to Walmart and Target for the “thing” they forgot they needed today. Bake cupcakes. Pack lunches. Give driving lessons. Scout colleges. Visit campuses. Assist with applications. Pack boxes. Drive U-Hauls. Move into dorms. We do all the things…except prepare our hearts for the day they spread their wings.
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