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Friday, July 1, 2011

Dear God, Is It Time for Them to Leave for College?

Preacher Child left for college 4 years ago – Party Child left the following year. It was a double whammy and we survived.
Learn from us…
Myth #1 about Kids going to College: You’ll mope sadly around – forever.
Yes, you are sad at first.
Yes, it is quiet
It is eerily strange to see real carpet, not towels on the bedroom floor.
The bed is always made.
There is less laundry.
Milk sours, ice cream lives long enough to crystalize.
You learn to cut back on recipes & use more freezer zip-loc bags.
You have to take the recycling & garbage out.
You’ll set an extra place at the dinner table subconsciously.
All true – but trust me on this – You won’t be sad forever!
My very wise sister-in-law took her oldest child to camp for an entire summer. He was 1st born, Golden Child of the eventual 8 grandchildren – envy of the family. I said, “But he’s your easy child. Wouldn’t it be better if the Hellion Baby was gone?” (I love Hellion Baby, cut from the same cloth as Preacher Child – blog material for 100’s in the future)
She claimed, “(Heck) no! It doesn’t matter which of the 3 kids leave, life is easier when you’re down one. Doesn’t matter which one.”
I never forgot this wisdom. I’ve embraced peace whenever we’ve been down one child.
Flower Child is the baby; I was very young when Preacher Child was born, so most of my friends are embarking upon their first college-launching experience.
This is what I’m hearing:
Oh, I’m going to be so sad!
Don’t know what I’m going to do!
The kids are lobbying for her room when she leaves!
I’ll hold it together until I drop him off and sob home!
Mark my words – this lasts 72 hours and you begin to realize…
Big shoes don’t trip you by the door.
You can have whatever you want for dinner, whatever time you feel like having it.
Ice cream stays in the freezer for more than 48 hours.
It’s so quiet.
You can back out of your driveway without hitting another vehicle.
They’ll still text you.
Reality Check… Could y’all remind me of all this on July 8th (college orientation) and again on August 9th (rush begins)?
Everyone thinks Flower Child will be my un-doing – so I need to be held accountable on the Truth.


  1. Love the post!! We are empty nesters now too! At first the silence was hard to deal with at least for me. Now I am fine. We still have our 4 Labradors that keep us so loved and licked! Notice you have one too! Following from VoiceBoks!~Lisa

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  2. What a wonderful post! I should bookmark it and read again in 8 years. I have 4 girls and the ice cream never lasts more than 24 hours. It's crazy here all the time, but I worry that I'll freak out when it isn't so crazy anymore.

    Good to know I won't. Love your blog, I'm your newest follower, I'll be back again and again. Love the color scheme. Makes me happy!!!!

  3. I love my empty nest! Is that bad to say? I'm a project person, and have taken on more now, than I ever did before with all of the kids, which was crazy busy. I have the whole back room as my office. The closets are getting quite organized. Beds are always made. I don't have to clean the floors as often...yeah! It's freedom galore, and I like this selfish phase of my life:0...sorry kids.
    Cheers from VB!

  4. Nicki - it's a different kind of crazy... We'll have 3 in college and 1 getting married soon. Much of the advice given when the kids were newborns still applies. Hope you'll stop by sooner than 8 years :)
    Thanks, Mommy LaDy - you're an inspiration!! Especially if you'll really host the smack down with Angela & Jen!!

  5. Beautiful post and you're a great writer! Funny too. Mine are little still -- thank G-d, but I have a 16 year old (the eldest), so I know the time approaches quickly. Your post shed a new light on the process.

    Samantha from vB

  6. I appreciate your kind words - very encouraging :)

  7. My oldest is 12 and my youngest is 6, (we have a daughter who is 9 in the middle) although we are far from empty nesters I felt a similar way when my youngest started kindergarten last year.I too will have to bookmark this for future use.

    Kathy Via VoiceBoks