My oldest son left home for college last week. It was both easier and harder than I expected.
He’s been working toward this moment for years, and it feels like we’ve been planning, visiting schools, and talking about test scores, grades, and financial aid forever. I was ready. He’s a solid, responsible, mature kid. This has always been our dream/plan for him, and he got into his first-choice university. I was ready.
But then as we said goodbye and walked away from his dorm on Saturday I realized that he was truly out of the house. Out. Gone. An adult who would come visit on breaks and during the summer, but with whom we’d no longer share the daily routine of home, the spontaneous conversations, dinners out on the weekend.
Yes, we are connected via text messages, email, phone calls, FaceTime, and airplanes. Yes, he’ll be back when school’s out next summer. But it’s not the same.
Maybe I wasn’t ready. Maybe I’ll never be.
That old cliché that “they grow up so fast” is a cliché for a reason. I can’t believe my eight-pound baby boy is now a freshman in college, making his own way in the world, (mostly) without us.
I’m happy for him, proud of him, and happy for us. I’m excited for him because he’s exactly where he wants to be, doing what he wants to do.
I’m also sad.
Letting go was easy because I trust him and believe in him. It’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever done.