I was reading at Mick and Lynda’s Place yesterday as Mick discussed his feeling about his son heading back to college and I realized it was that time of year again. Kids are heading back to school and whether they are starting preschool or heading to college it does give parents a little catch in the heart.
I dreaded the empty nest like a toothache. But as it worked out I came out to Nick only about a month before LJ headed to college. The closeness I suddenly felt for Nick really eased the pain of my son leaving. Those four years flew by in a wink and he was off to the big city. And one short year after that my baby heads to college. Neither LJ nor Mollie came home for even a summer once they left for school. .
And what are things like now? Fantastic! LJ calls me ever week and we usually talk for nearly an hour about everything, his job, who he’s meeting, the auditions he goes on, and of course the wedding. It’s wonderful to have him share so much of his life with me. Now he is totally confident making his own decisions and rarely ask me for advice. The main mothering I do now is insisting that he and Collin get their flu shots ever year and keep pestering them until they do. Really I’m just happy that he’s happy.
Mollie has enjoyed her second summer as a camp counselor and even thought she doesn’t really live at home any more I think she pays more attention to what I say than when she did. When Nick and I went to the beach in June, I got a call from her at three in the morning. No one want’s a call from your kid at three in the morning. But she quickly told me she was fine, she had just called for my advice because one of her little campers had an earache. The conversation went something like this.
Mollie: She says it hurts and I know that they can come on suddenly and be really painful.
Me: Is she crying?
Mollie: No and that makes me wonder if its really that bad or if she just woke up and is home sick. I left her with the other counselor and I’m walking down to the main building, but I don’t know whether to wake up the director or the nurse.
Me: Well, maybe…
Mollie: I think I’ll wake the nurse first. She’ll be able to give her something for the pain. And then if it’s still bad in an hour I’ll tell the director and he can decide whether or not to call her mom.
Me: That might work…
Mollie: I’m there now. I’ll get the nurse. Thanks Mom, love you!
She was serious! I hung up laughing I hadn’t said anything! It was like one of those comedies where the psychiatrist only says ‘What do you think’ and the patient cures themselves. Now how on earth did Mollie’s going to college make me so much smarter in her eyes? It doesn’t matter, I’ll take it.
Really I just wanted to tell anyone who is sending a baby to college, that it’s going to be okay. They are still your babies and they still want to talk to you and tell you about their lives and some will even come back for advice. You need to remember two things. First, your job when you began this parenting thing was to equip them to leave home and be self-sufficient and second, realize that when the last one leaves you can spank and have sex in any room at any time – nothing to sneeze at.