Monday, October 15, 2007

Life of a college student

Being a parent is a hard job. It's not for everyone. Some people realize that and don't have children. Others find that out after they have them. As for me, I'm a natural at it. I guess I was born with a huge mother gene.

Most parents want the best for their child. I say most because not every parent is fit to be one. But that's another post. As a mother of two sons, I'm their biggest fan, cheerleader and support system. One of the hardest things for me to deal with was when I was no longer the most important person in their lives. Or so I thought.

Last night son number 1 calls from college. I can tell right away something is not right. The flood gate opens and stresses come pouring out. He is a senior in nursing school, in the spring he will graduate with a 4 year degree as an RN. He already has a job offer but he has to get through this last year.

Seems that at this moment in time he is overwhelmed with life. He has a heavy course load, clinical work in the hospital to do, papers to write, projects to do, tests and mid-terms to study for and to top it off he is president of the university's racquetball team and has 3 tournaments over the next 4 weekends. He has to find time to get his drivers liscence renewed, it expired when he turned 21 in September. No beer with an expired lisence. He's burning the candle at both ends and feeling it.

He spent 47 minutes on the phone with me last night spilling his guts over his life in general. I of course listened to him, offered suggestions, told him that we all go through it. We all get through it, there's light at the end of the tunnel, you're in the home stretch, all the cliches you can think of. At times he would say nothing, I would say nothing. The two of us would be silent. I realized that he just needed the emotional connection with mom, even if it was over the telephone. Just knowing that I was at the other end of the line was comforting.

It was breaking my heart that I couldn't do anything to help him. I couldn't hug him or give him a smile. When one of my children is hurting, I hurt along with them. When he's stressed, it stresses me although I would never tell him that. I finally suggested he go for a walk, get some fresh air, have some ice cream, put a time limit on his studying for the evening and get some sleep. We hung up. I don't know what he did after that. I will give him a few days and then call him.

I realized last night that I am still the most important person in his life, it just shows in a different way now. He may be 21 years old but still needs dear old mom when the going gets rough.

I couldn't love him more. The above picture is mom and son at Lighthouse Beach in the town of Chatham on Cape Cod this past summer.


Kitten Herder said...

It must be warming to know that he still needs you, and frustrating to know that there is only so much that you can do to help. It sounds like you said all the right things. I only hope that my relationship with my son grows into the lovely thing that you two seem to have.