I cried like a baby … Every. Single. Time.!!
Every August, I’m reminded. I still want to cry. The thought wets my eyes and grimaces my heart. My heart hurts for others experiencing it. This eventful “milestone” should not bring tears; but, for me and many others, it does.
College is an achievement … something parents hope and dream for children. As the moment becomes a reality, separating is a hard thing. For me, A. Very. Hard. Thing. Driving away and leaving, felt so unnatural; against every mothering instinct in my body. I was charged with protecting, nurturing, and guiding them, one moment, and the next moment, I relinquished. My “parenting license” revoked; like an ending to something I cherished with my whole heart.
(Oh great, now, I’m crying and trying to write this post! A tender place.)
If you’ve read the ‘About Page‘, on my website; mothering was always my chosen profession. Yes, I have a degree in Nursing, blah, blah, blah…. But, mothering … the ultimate of callings. God designed me for it. I relished it. Worked it. LOVED every second!!
When my oldest went to kindergarten, I cried like a baby, for days. So, I developed a self-proclaimed-theory…. (prompted by my husband saying, “Why are you crying so much? He didn’t die!”)…. “If I grieve the little milestones along the way, perhaps, when my babies approach adulthood, it will be easier and not hurt as much, to let them go.” Studying Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s book, “Grief & Grieving”; emphasized grieving is vital to resolution and acceptance. So, this made perfect sense. I let myself grieve and cry when all the little “losses” occurred.
My theory proved INCORRECT, WRONG, FLAWED… much to my dismay!
College Move-in day
Our eldest was ready! His type “A”, strong-leader, tons-of-energy-self poised to conquer! Rooming with two close friends from home, brought a bit of consolation. My friend, Brenda, and I stayed over the first night; sending the rest of our families home. This proved genius. We didn’t have to sever the cord in one blunt moment. We had dinner with them, spent time the next day, and eased into leaving.
I’ll never forget the moment; stalling, no longer an option. The last “goodbye” happened on the dorm sidewalk. We all hugged/kissed one more time, said “I love you”, “Call your mother”, “Focus on God, not girls”, etc. Our boys walked away, smiling (maybe running). As Brenda and I turned to walk to the van, “Houston, we had a problem… we couldn’t see!” The tears were streaming from both of our faces. We didn’t dare look back. Holding each other up, we arrived at the van, through dense-blur-foggy-sight conditions. Stumbling in, we shut the doors and flat-out cried like babies.
For three hours home, we cried! Amidst the crying, we reminisced (our sons being best friends since 3 year olds), cried more, laughed at crying, and cried again. Pulling ourselves together, at this momentous occasion, proved impossible. Thankfully, we were alone!
Leaving eighteen-year-olds at college, is way too soon to launch children. They can barely brush their teeth and make their beds. Seriously! Wasn’t I tucking them in and singing lullabies, yesterday?
College is a huge change in family dynamics. Change is HARD. Rearranging and reordering life causes lots of adjustments, compromises, and prayer time.
I highly recommend, “Crying it out!”
I’ve never regretted one tear cried out of love, concern, or letting go. God fashioned me to cry! He designed me with tear ducts and emotions. Crying proves helpful, therapeutic, and cleansing.
And, the best reason … Jesus cried! (Being like Jesus … my life-quest.)
In John, Jesus wept over the death of his friend, Lazarus; and, out of compassion for Lazarus’ two sisters, Martha and Mary. Scripture tells us, He cried other times. But here, in the book of John, He is crying over loss and grief; normal human emotions. Specifically stating, He was “moved to tears”.
Bingo! That’s how I felt, when I left my children in a “new world”, far from our experienced norm. I felt loss, grief, and I was “moved to tears”. It was my only response to this overwhelming, perceived culmination of their childhood and my mothering … Tears.
Current Update … I have adjusted (out of necessity) and my mothering has not yet ended. My thirty-five-year-old son, in my mother’s day card, this year, said, “I didn’t think it possible Mom, but I’ve never needed you more.” (He doesn’t remember the nursing/diapering phase!)
I’m a Mom “for always”. I will always miss the times, our whole family loved and buzzed under one roof.
Children growing up and changes occurring is survivable and thrive-able.
When change/college/loss/separation, jumps up and “moves you”,
Be like Jesus,
don’t hold back…
Cry. It. Out.
If you’re like me, you couldn’t stop it, if you tried.
Gifted At Using Tear Ducts,
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