Friday, August 25, 2006

Off to School

Tomorrow we take number one son back to college. This is the third year of doing that and it is still so bittersweet for me. I hear many people say they can't wait for their kids to go back to college but I don't feel that way. I like having him home. He is a fun kid, a smart kid, a kid that you can have a conversation with whether it be about politics, current events or just about life. He has always been the serious type, worked hard, disciplined and had high expectations for himself. I keep refering to him as a kid but he's not a kid. He will turn 20 on Sept. 15. The years have just flown by. When he was just a few days old I worried that someday he will go to kindergarten, maybe have to go to war and maybe marry someone that didn't like me and would make him move 3,000 miles away. Sean thought I was crazy but mothers think this way. When he is at home I have a little more control, I know where he is most times and when he comes home late at night he has to wake me to tell me he's home. When he's away I know nothing about what he's doing. I have learned to accept that and maybe not knowing is better. It is hard to see your child grow into an adult, to not be the most important person in their life anymore and to let go. But is also nice to see what a kind and responsible adult they've grown into. He told me yesterday that he doesn't think I'll miss him when he's gone and I was sort of hurt by that. How could he think I wouldn't? I do know that he appreciates us and is greatful for what we have provided for him but I don't think he knows how much we love him. When I was a teenager I loved my parents but gave them a lot of grief. I never thought too much about their love for me. It wasn't until I moved out of the house at age 19 that I started to appreciate them more. I don't think a child understands the depth of a parents love until they have a child of their own. Then they realize how much they love that child and that they would die for that child. It then dawns on them that, wow, my parents must feel the same way about me. That's how it was for me. I tell my children every day that I love them (something I don't remember as a kid). Spend time with your children, get to know them, be as involved in their life as much as you can. It won't be long before they're off to college and on their way to adulthood. I tell them all the time, you're never too old to hug and kiss your mother. If you have the chance to do so, tell your mother you love her, don't wait for her to say those words to you, I guarantee, it will be music to her ears.