I’ve dreaded his departure for 18 years and although I hoped it might not be as bad as I feared, it is worse.
Everything—and I mean everything—that takes place in the weeks leading up to your child leaving home is tinged with a gray cloud that you can’t control, much less make disappear. Dinner at his favorite restaurant Out Back Steakhouse? You’re calculating how long it will be until you all eat there again. Even the grocery store is depressing as you imagine not buying the food he loves and having nightly dinners together.
Sure, it’s important to enjoy all the moments—and I did but there’s little chance of going more than a few hours without something triggering the realization that these moments as you’ve known them are about to end.
You tend to go down memory lane often, you remember the good times and the bad times. Parenting is hard work, the early teenage years he struggled with authority. It was not easy being a single parent but I held him accountable for his actions and they had consequences. He has given me so many reasons to be proud of the man he has become, but the proudest moment for me is telling others that he is my son.
Austin worked hard to get into the college of his choice. He knew he had the ability to make his dream come true. He was so committed and determined that when people would ask him which college he would be attending, without hesitation he would say Texas Tech.
He flew in for his orientation and managed to do just fine selecting classes and taking care of everything that needed to be done. When he arrived home, he told me he was comfortable driving 9 hours by himself and setting up his dorm room. Why I asked!? He didn’t want me to have to fly back home by myself because he knows I fear flying alone. Of course I wanted to go and set up everything I had purchased for him. Told him I would rent a car! He said that’s crazy, I will worry about you driving back by yourself.
Then I realized that he was ready to let go and I shouldn’t hold him back because I wasn’t. We all know that the hardest thing for a parent to do is to let go—whether it is taking off the training wheels on their first bike, or the first day of kindergarten. I knew he was capable of handling the move because that’s what I had raised him to do… so I let go.
We’re supposed to raise our kids to move into the future without us. To the bow, the arrow is its purpose. To the arrow, the bow is just a launching pad. This is a basic fact of life, that all parents eventually accept. It’s just that it happens so fast! When they’re born, it seems like they’ll be dependent on us forever. Believe me the years will fly by so enjoy the journey because it ends way to soon!
Move in day was Sunday but he decided to wait till today so he didn’t have to deal with the chaos. This morning at 3 AM we loaded up his truck. I was praying and crying while tracking him on the iPhone. He texted me each time he stopped for gas. Thank God that he arrived safe. Two of his best friends are also attending the same university and helped him unpack.
I set out to raise two happy, confident and independent man, one down and one to go!