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Thursday, August 22, 2013

The College Pilgrimage

Out on my run this morning I saw a car packed to the roof.  A Uhaul trailer being loaded.  With late August arrives the annual college pilgrimage.  Off to school to gain wisdom and weight.

This year it is my turn again.  Time to release another child from the nest and hope they fly.  I thought it would be easier the second time around, but I'm starting to understand otherwise.  Today, we move our son into his freshman dorm.  I can sense the excitement and subtle fear in his voice.  Fear of the unknown, but excited knowing the unknown is probably pretty awesome.

No, the studying and early classes is not awesome.  Independence is awesome.

If the delivery goes anything like with my older daughter, we'll get the room somewhat settled and then we will make every attempt to a hurry.  No need to dwell on it.  Everyone blubbering for no reason.

I think more tears are shed in August than any other month.  Mostly by caring mothers sensing a loss on some level.  First day of kindergarden gets 'em.  They won't have little Timmy or Sally at their side 24/7.  Only weeks later do they admit that school gives them a much needed break in the action.

Later we get hit the hardest by them leaving the house.  Not for a few hours, but a few weeks or months.  The silence is truly palpable  Even with two kids remaining at home, once our daughter left there was a hole that took a good while to accept as normal.  The hole doesn't get filled, you just get use to it being there.

So, tonight when I get home and a lone high schooler is the only soul filling the upstairs rooms, it will start to set in.  I will convince myself that the tears on the drive home were the end of it.  No, it is that lonely feeling of a near empty house that gets you.  Then comes the first phone call.  Choking back tears.  Trying to sound excited for all they are experiencing.

Honestly, the only thing that helps is time.

I don't want to end this on a downer so I can say this.  I'm extremely proud of my son.  He's a great kid.  I'm so excited for him.  He gets to start really being a man.  I know God has a special plan for him and is with him.  That's more protection than I could ever give.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace