It's Just Around the Bend My Friends...

I can feel it in the air. If my life had a Weather app it would read something like this: Storm Warning. These next few weeks will be unpredictable. Conditions are perfect for drastic highs and lows. Take time to prepare; gather tissues, hugs and memories. Hunker down, stock your home with favorite foods and activities to last these next few weeks. It should clear out soon.

This Life Advisory should not be a surprise to me. In fact, I’ve been preparing for it for some 20-something years. Actually 45 years if you count the years I dreamt of being a mom. Readying for the day the children I have poured my heart and soul into both leave home for college.

It seems so cruel we spend their lifetime preparing them to be independent enough to leave us. No more holding hands when crossing the street. No more cutting their food into non-chokable pieces. No more crazy schedules of after-school activities. No more making school lunches.

 My daughter's daily salad for school lunch... done!

My daughter's daily salad for school lunch... done!

There are, of course positives. There always are. I will not have to memorize multiplication tables ever again. I will not “help” with any more ridiculous Science Fair projects. I have attended my last Open House alone. No more hopeless requests to clean bedrooms. The endless laundry will come to a screeching halt. Dinners will be for two now, actually for one since I am a football coach's wife … just for one.

I am a little ashamed to admit it, but there were days when I wished for this day. Like the days I never got out of my pajamas because I was just so exhausted from listening to my baby cry while I practiced that Sleep Dr’s technique! There were times I hid in the bathroom for a sliver of privacy. I recall desperately craving a shower that lasted long enough to actually be able to shave my legs. For goodness sake, I attended any and all home parties just for some adult conversation.

I heard, but apparently did not heed all those comments from people who saw me with my little ones,  “Cherish these times--they’ll be grown up before you know it!” I remember thinking to myself then, “HA! They have no idea!” Now, I understand that you were just trying to warn me. You were then where I find myself now.

I have many friends who are ahead of me in the Life curve. I watch them carefully to see how they fare. I ask careful questions and take copious notes. They say I will be fine after the first few weeks. And I have had some practice as my son has been away at school for two years now. A few say I will just love it, “It will be a time for you.” There are others who think parenting just gets harder because our children are not within our grasp. And then there are those who urge me to be patient because this is the necessary step for me to receive grandchildren-- which are apparently the greatest gift in all the land!

I will really be fine, since there really is no other choice. I am truly happy that all my hard work and our life experiences have made this moment possible. My children are ready. They are eager to live independently. See the world. Meet new people. Get an education. Have a crazy good time. All I ask is they be safe. Look both ways before crossing. Choose the best kind of people to keep company with. Listen to your gut. Attend classes and take notes. While walking through campus, LOOK up--not down at your phone. Focus on eating healthy, but eat. Wash your hands often. Please call home. Oh and one last thing--have the time of your life.

Waiting on clearer skies,

Moral: Cherish these times--they’ll be grown up before you know it!

A little thing you should understand about me: I chose to write my blog in first person mostly because it’s always me sharing my feelings, thoughts, and issues. Of course, I do not believe in any way that I alone have raised, lost sleep, struggled or will be sad when both of our children leave for college! It’s for sure a “we”--but I write in “me!”