Although it is still August, here is Pennsylvania, there are signs of fall. The air is cooler and our garden is transitioning from the vibrant colors of spring and summer to more earthy shades. Another sign that change is here is that the neighborhood is quieter and some social posts from friends have indicated that they have just packed up their son or daughter for their first year at college. I remember their pain, even though it was ten years ago, when we dropped our first born off and moved her into her dorm. Even though the university was only two hours away, it felt like it could have been on the moon. I was thinking as we drove our van, packed to capacity, to the campus, “did I teach her everything she needed to know? Will she be alright? Will she hang on to her faith?” It was a bittersweet time as the umbilical cord was really being severed, in terms of her making it on her own but yet I knew that my heartstrings would never be cut from this beautiful human being that is my very own flesh and blood.
As you drop this precious package at the door of their new chapter of life, you know that you will never have the influence over this person that you once had, but you want to protect them from any of their mistakes and the uncertainty of this life so much. You realize that there are many mistakes you made as a parent, but you rejoice that God allowed you as a fallible human to enjoy for a brief second this bit of life you created. You know that is time to set them free, but you can hold them in your heart forever, as you watch them go off and chase their own dreams.
Although it is painful, it is also a time of celebration of firsts. For them, it may be the first time that they honestly have to figure things out on their own. Yet for you, it may be the first time that you and your husband have some uninterrupted time together in a while. It may be the first time you have had more time with another child that supposedly needed less attention. It may be the first time you really have had time for yourself to chase the dreams that were buried way back in the closet. New seasons, whether we realize it or not, are happening all the time, right under our noses. It takes something traumatic as a college move-in to snap us into reality. Perhaps it awakens us to the fact that time is passing and we are where our parents were, just a few short years ago and we are feeling what they felt not too long ago. It is also the gateway to new knowledge about ourselves because we have never been the parent of a college student before as we had never been the parent of a high student before, and the parent of a toddler… It is time to survey our lives, and maybe for the first time, breathe easy and enjoy the moment, because this unique moment will never come again. #transitions #college #parents