I’ve been avoiding the ‘feels’ for days. Weeks. Months.
I’ve immersed myself in a major DIY. Tearing apart the kitchen. Adding height to the cabinets. Priming and painting walls and cabinet doors and drawers.
I’ve been shopping till I drop for mini fridges and surge protectors and school supplies and cleaning supplies.
I haven’t given myself any time to feel.
The day has arrived. The car is packed. We’re ready to head out caravan style on a four hour drive across the Midwest.
And the ‘feels’ have arrived. And it feels like I’ve been hit by a mac truck.
So you want to know what I feel?
I feel nervous.
I know, I’m surprised too.
And it’s not your everyday kind of nervous jitters. It’s full-on-I think-I’m-going-to-throw-up nervous.
And behind that giant nervous pit in my stomach are tears. Threating to pour forth. But I’m choking those back. Saving them for the long drive home.
The most alarming part is these feels have arrived before we even head out the door. Leaving me to wonder if I’m going to feel these feels all weekend long? Will they get stronger? And if so, how will that feel?
I think I better pack some Tums.
P.S. In case you’re wondering this faux moss topiary has absolutely nothing to do with taking a child to college. Or my nerves. Or my nervous stomach. I just needed a photo to share and I thought I’d include this one. A favorite project (click here for tutorial) …
I know that feeling very well! Just wanted you to know that it will get better. Best wishes for you and your son!
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement!
Ugh. I feel your pain. We just took my eldest back this week for year two of university. I can tell you it’s been easier this second time around. …… But there’s still a hole in your heart. I tried to fill it this week by bugging my hubby to move to a different house with lots of projects. :/ He’s so smart and knows me so well…. He said give it some time and go back to work next week. I’m pretty much over the house thing already. Hang in there.
It’s like we’re back in nesting mode when they leave the nest! 🙂
My son is now 43 and has a Masters Degree. I will always remember dropping him off at college and crying all the way home. Pamela in Ohio
I’m pretty sure the floodgates will open on the rude home! Thanks for your support!
You’re not alone. Two years ago I suddenly realized that I only had about two weeks left until we took my son to college and it just overwhelmed me. I sobbed, When the day came to take him, I thought I’d be a wreck, but I was okay. Sad, but okay.
He came home for Christmas that year and the month went by in a blink and when my husband took him back to school I was again overwhelmed…..and sobbed. It got easier after that though.
After two years away at school he decided he didn’t like it and decided to go to a local school. I was secretly delighted!
Hope you’re doing okay and just know that it’s going to be fine. ♥
Am I a terrible mother if I hope my son doesn’t like his school and want to come closer? I mean, we have many wonderful colleges here in Chicago! Ha! But I do see a very big benefit in him navigating things for himself. I just hope I haven’t done too much for him and he ends of not being able to fend for himself! 🙂
Just this minute said goodbye and watched my 49 year old daughter drive off to a state 12 driving hous away for a new job. I too feel your pain. Having experienced this many times over, it does get easier in time, but the structure of our lives forever changes as well. It’s harder now that I am also older and my last child has left our area……….a bit lonely. She is missed immensely already.
We’ll just have to hang in there till things get brighter. Peace to you.
Kirby Carespodi says
1. Buy your liquor of choice.
2. Keep it on hand for the next month. You’ll need it.
Kimberly ~ Serendipity Refined says
As I sit in my eerily quiet kitchen reading your words after dropping my youngest off at college yesterday, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Hang in there, girlfriend….and start planning your first “care package from mom”…it helps…a little. xx
oh honey, hang in there! Try to enjoy watching the signs of him changing – becoming his adult person. It’s a long process with a boy.
Carol Owens says
Your words brought bsck my own memories of 5 years ago. I spent the summer dreading the day, then the 10 hour drive followed by the short goodbye…..tears for 100 miles…I came home and painted his room. It does goes get a little easier but now 5 years later the missing is still there.
Ok don’t laugh…. Well I started crying in September of his senior year. I figured if I started early, I would be close to done when he graduated, left for college. It was a tad different for us, we were an Army family and I KNEW the child was going to leave the nest, but I also KNEW, the nest could leave the child. I did get to take him to college, across town to the dorms ? it still wasn’t easy……and not long after the nest moved 11 hours away!!! It was gut wrenching, but oh! So beautiful to watch your child take what you have taught him and turn into a wonderful independent human being. If you pay attention “momma” your caterpillar is about to become a beautiful butterfly that can fly!!!?
Kathy H. says
I just forwarded this to a friend who is experiencing the exact same thing this week. So timely. You’re in my prayers!
Hang in there…it will get better. But, prepare yourself….because it will happen each time you make that trip…or he takes off by himself. I guess it’s part of motherhood…but I didn’t have a clue until my first born left home. You do have the right idea…keep busy. Liquor has also been known to help! 😉
Hi. When my daughter went out of state to college, we dutifully sat in all these various lectures. All to reassure us our child would be okay safety wise. And otherwise. That there’s intervention and phone calls to parents if grades are suddenly slipping.
But this was the best advice: if your child calls all sad and lonely and you want to head on the next plane to “rescue” them. Stop. Your child has simply shared deep feelings of anxiety with you. Now there’s a bunch of kids that knock and say Pizza in the Student Union in Five!! And your child feels great. The weight has been lifted!! But onto you. So as you toss and turn your child is laughing eating pizza!!!
It helped. I loved my child calling on her long walks to classes. Later to buy groceries. We visited and it was fun. Fun to see my child grow up. And now? She landed her dream job after doing the harder path educationally and her dad was doing a project at work. His boss checked it and said, You’ll have to get ahold of — — at our client’s to go over legalities. My husband grinned ear to ear. No problem. He said. That’s my daughter!
Remember it goes quickly. Sometimes we went up there for Thanksgiving. Or for a Parents weekend we’d show up. Enjoy it all!! And redecorate your child’s room!!! My child wanted a more grown up look and that was her surprise one Spring visit home. And it’s ok to feel like you do….I’m missing that time in my life now. It went fast.
I feel your pain. We are saying “see you soon” tomorrow to our youngest child. We will then drive home over 2200 miles away and I can almost guarantee you that I will cry the whole way home. I’ve been reassured that my son will be fine! I look at it this way, we raised our children to be independent and self sufficient and now the time has come for them to put everything we as parents taught them to use. Hugs to you.
Luckily my drive was only 4 hours! I couldn’t imagine crying for 2200 miles! Its good to know we are all in this together! And hugs right back to you! Driving away yesterday was one of the toughest things I’ve had to do in a long time! But we made it. My daughter served as a distraction in the car ride. And thanks so much for all your words of support and encouragement! Right back at ya! 🙂 Linda
I have taken 4 girls to college and each was such a bittersweet day. You are proud of them and excited for their future but the lump in your throat and tears in your eyes. Things change after that day and you change and adapt but it is hard. Good news your relationship with your child changes and it is a wonderful parent – adult child relationship. One more bit of good news… it is easier next year!
Thank you for your kinds words for a “seasoned” pro! I am a bit weepy and figure I will be that way for the next month or so. Plus we’ll be back in 4 weeks for family day! I am looking forward to him growing and growing up and a wonderful parent-adult child relationship too! 🙂
I feel your pain, taking two to different colleges this weeek. Burst in tears ordering a cake at costco. Luckily Moms understand, hang in there it does get easier. Also, find a hole in his schedule where he has nothing better to do than call mom
Yes, the public displays of tears! My advice is to keep your sunglasses handy. I forgot mine and wish I could have hid behind them! Good luck to you too! Driving away yesterday was near impossible. Jelly legs and turning stomach. My daughter was a good distraction on the way home. A follow up text last night made me feel a bit better. It’s still weird, though. 🙂
Okay, don’t know how you Moms out there do it. I can barely tolerate leaving my dog at the vet office…so bringing a child to school — to leave there???? FORGET IT. I’d be a puddle. But alllll will be well, it really will….take some time for yourself.
My heart is with you, dear one. Sadly there is no way around the feelings and the transition you will be dealing with. You must go straight through the middle of it like a soldier taking a hill!
I discovered that the hardest part came later when I tried to define what my new role was. Of course you are still Mom, but that role changes and it feels very different deep inside your heart. One day it will hit you….have a pint of your favorite ice cream and a box of tissues on hand. It helps!!
Sending you hugs during your transition. <3
Thank you so much! That drive home yesterday was tough. As was that first night at home without him. But a text exchange helped ease my concerns. And sadness. And now it’s time for him to grow. So I won’t sit here and dwell on all his lonely and homesick feelings (I think we all feel them) and focus on all the new experiences he will experience! Thank you so much for those words of support!!! 🙂
Cindy Davis says
Oh boy, that was hard to read. We are taking our oldest (son) to college this Friday and I am starting to get all of those feelings. I can’t sleep at night and wake up thinking he will get there and not have something he needs. I know he can get what he needs there but something about me getting everything for him makes me feel like I’ve done my job a little better. The count down begins for us and I will take all the words of wisdom above into my thoughts when we are driving home.
Getting in the car and driving home yesterday was tough. My stomach was turning and my legs were like jelly. I had my 14-year-old daughter with me in the car and she proved to be a perfect distraction! We talked. We sang to the radio. We counted road kill on the side of the road. I didn’t let myself ‘go there’ and think about him sitting alone in his dorm room (his roommate had not yet arrived when we left!). But a text exchange a few hours after we arrived home made me feel a bit better. Roommate arrived and he’s 100% normal and he connected with some fellow video gamer enthusiasts on the common room floor. Phew. It’s still weird. I’m still prone to tears (as is my husband). But one day at a time …
Awwww. Know the pit of stomach “feels” for different reasons, but is never easy where our children are concerned. Becky over at Smithellaneous reposted recently about sending their first-born off to college. She held back tears for days, until shortly before the trip when she turned around and her son was standing with open arms inviting her in to cry her “Mama” tears. And enter into his arms she did. It made the trip a whole lot better.
So how did it go? The feels that is.
Susie Atkinson says
Where was Mike?