Letting Go–Leaving Kellen at College

Okay…I have done this twice now and I tell you it doesn’t get easier.  What is it? It is getting your child off to college.  If you thought kindergarten was hard, just wait!  College is a heart-breaker.

Believe me…I know that I have been preparing for this day for the past 18 years.  I love my kids dearly and enjoy being with them.  I have attended thousands of school functions and sports games to cheer on my son and his friends.  I have done his laundry and fixed him meals for 18 years…and really didn’t mind doing it.  As he got older I kept track of where he was and who he was with.  Each night I’d know if he was in bed or at a friends…but I knew where he was.

Suddenly the day comes and you pack up all his things, shop for all the necessaries he might need and off you go…to a college far away.  Kellen chose Mizzou…or Univ. of MO…a long 8 hour drive from home.  When we get there we unload at a huge brick fraternity house and climb the 3 flights of stairs to his room.  The room appears small and stark…not very clean for this mom…but my son seems to think it is great.  We spend the entire day Sat. doing things to his room and trying to make one small wardrobe to fit all his clothes and stuff…a small miracle in itself.

On Sunday we take our son out for a late breakfast, buy him a few groceries that might fit into a small refrigerator and then head to the fraternity house to say goodbye.  I think he would have been happy with just being dropped off at the front door, but I insisted on one last photo in front of the house and a big hug goodbye.  I had remained strong until this moment and then it suddenly became too real…we were leaving him there…driving home without him.  I admit, the tears flowed and Kellen looked a bit shocked.  I had to laugh just a little because he did walk up the steps to go inside the frat house and suddenly remembered to look back at us and wave.  (We recently had spoken to another mom who had a photo of her son just walking away to college without looking back…and it upset her.  I had looked at Kellen at that moment and said,”So, remember to look back, ok?”)

I know that the next week or so I’ll have moments of sudden saddness as I miss him being around here.  When I go to bed at night I see that his bedroom door is open and I know he won’t be coming home for awhile.  The good news is that he is happy there and is SO ready for this college experience.  It is just hard on moms who have always been close by to make sure things were going ok…and are now left to just feeling like a part of them has been ripped out and left somewhere. 

I do know that he’ll come back and we’ll love having him return but I know that the rest of his life will be a series of letting him go.  It will get easier with time.  I have done this before.  But I know I still have two more kids to go with this Letting Go stuff and I hope my heart can take it!  So…my heart goes out to all the moms out there who are getting ready to ‘let go’ of their kids to a whole new world they prepared them for.

Off to college life...

Off to college life...

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach…. www.everythingforadoption.com


One response to this post.

  1. Wow Deb,
    I feel your pain….And that hanggliding episode. It’s a good thing you heard about it after the fact….LOL. Well now we can LOL! I get to go through this next year (The whole going off to college thing). I’m all for going off to college don’t get me wrong but it’s going to be tough. My prayers are with you!!

    Love, Carol


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