This I Believe

Donna - Milford, Ohio
Entered on November 17, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I believe…that letting go of our children is one of the most difficult tasks we ever do. I was never more proud of my oldest son than the day he graduated high school. He had been a good son and I had been an over protective mother. Which, he of course reminds me often today. The next few months after graduation his father and I prepared to send him off to college. He was only going to be an hour or so away, just far enough for him to spread his wings but close enough that we could get to him easily.

Initially he expressed concern about moving away. He was reluctant to go and thought maybe he should wait a year before starting college. I knew on an intellectual level it was extremely important to his growth as a young man that he not wait.

The day came for us to drop him off at his new living quarters in a multi floor dormitory. We unloaded all of his new belongings and transported them to the fifth floor. I made his bed, helped unpack the boxes and we took him shopping for those final items. Finally we took him to dinner and then returned him to his new home where we dropped him off. I hugged his neck good bye, gave him some final words of advise and tried not to cry. I was successful at holding off the tears until we had reached the end of the drive and as we pulled onto the highway the flood gates opened. My husband thought it was cute. Yeah it was cute alright. What I didn’t know is how difficult the next thirty days were going to be. But, not on Michael he was adjusting just fine, I was the one experiencing the difficulties. I found myself sleeping in his bed so I could feel closer to him. I would use instant messaging during the day to ask how he was. I could not call because I would break out in tears and that wasn’t fair to him. He would assure me that he was fine and I shouldn’t worry. I thought he would get home sick and want to come home for the weekends. I was wrong. I couldn’t believe he didn’t need us. The young man that was timid about leaving home seemed to have no problem spreading his wings. After about thirty days I began getting used to him being gone. I didn’t see him again that year until Thanksgiving week. He was having the time of his life. And I learned to accept he was growing up.

This I believe…as parents it is our job to prepare our children to spread their wings and not rely on us. I believe we owe them permission to become independent adults that can function just fine without us. I believe it is the hardest thing we ever do as parents, let go and let them live their lives.