It seems like just yesterday that I was sending my kids off to their first day of preschool. Fast forward to now, I have a college senior, a college freshman, and a high school freshman. Where did all those years go? How are my little kids young adults or teens now? How can I be old enough to have adult and teen age children? All of these questions and the mix of emotions that come with them have made this summer a little challenging for me.
My daughter started her first year of high school last week. About 15.1 million students will be entering grades 9-12 this year in the United States. She is embarking on one of the most memorable times in her life. She will someday, perhaps, tell her own children about the things she will experience over the next few years. While she is familiar with most of the kids at her school, they are once again the youngest group in the school. This itself requires some adjustment for her and her friends.
I just moved my younger son in to his college residence hall a few hours ago. The logistics of it were better than expected. We were able to secure a parking spot right next to the stairs for his dorm. My son’s room is on the third floor with no elevators, so the extra help from the numerous students who were there to assist everyone move in was much appreciated. After mostly unpacking him, we met my oldest son at his residence hall. He is starting his 3rd year at the same college. He has been on campus all summer as an RA for summer orientations and camps, so he just had to change from one dorm to another. After a quick look at his disaster of a room (he hasn’t had time to put stuff away), we all headed to the store to pick up some snacks and a few other items.
After getting my sons all situated, it was time for me to head home. On the drive back, it hit me that I am the mother of two college students. I mean, I knew this was coming for a long time, but now it is here. My role as a parent has already changed with my older son and now it will change with my younger son as well. I have confidence in my son’s ability to make good decisions and to adjust well to college. Having an older sibling on the same campus should help with the transition.
As we all navigate this new path, I will try to embrace the positive things that this change brings. My daughter now gets to experience being an only child (in the house). My sons are getting to meet and interact with people from all walks of life and they are developing into responsible young men. My husband and I are starting to think more seriously about what our future without kids at home is going to be like. While this is all exciting, I will continue to reflect on how much enjoyment I have had watching my babies grow into teens and young adults. I will try to embrace the next few years with my daughter before my nest is completely empty.