College Send-Off Bittersweet
The time is upon us to drop our kids off at college. A time where students step into the next chapter of their life. Yet, they are not the only ones making their way towards unknown territory. The same holds true for the parents that must learn to live without them.
The following is a letter to my son upon his leaving home and going towards his calling in life. It is such a bittersweet time.
The Little Things
I’m like any other mother out there holding on to what once was and trying to let you go. I know it’s important to you to get your feet wet in that next big thing in life. You are venturing towards a fresh independence of becoming who you are meant to be.
That doesn’t change the fact that of course I’ll miss the little things. For you see the little things started so many years ago. It started the very day that you were born.
When I met you for the first time and held your tiny hand in mine. What about the time that you finally learned how to walk or ride a bike with your Dads help? Throwing you fun birthday parties just because it made you happy.
As your parents we got blessed with eighteen full years of having you home. People told us that one day you would have to leave. The day that your life would begin in college.
That was so many years ago. I thought I had more time with you. To do all that I used to do.
For you see not only are you beginning something great, but I am letting go of one of my biggest achievements in life: You. There really isn’t any manual that tells me how to go on without you.
Time to Let Go
Only the wisdom that comes with time that it will all be alright. I’ll still worry across the miles because that is what a mother does. Yet, I’ll be your biggest cheerleader through your college years.
The same way that I was when you were in sports growing up. Going to as many games or matches as possible. Being there for you meant everything. To see your smile when I was there made it worth it.
That brings me to the present moment. The finality of having to release you into this crazy world of ours. In the hopes that you will continue to make good choices.
To be honest it’s more of no longer being able to protect you from it all. No more being a helicopter mom of sorts. There aren’t words to describe the way that I will feel once you are gone. The days when I’ll walk past an empty bedroom.
Who ever said parenting was a piece of cake? Nobody did I’m sure. So, yes, I may be a little mushy with this letter, but let’s get to the next part.
Things I Want for You
I want you to do your best in college. Get in there and see who you are. Enjoy the path of self-discovery. Don’t let fear dictate who you are meant to become. If someone thinks that you can’t it is your job to prove them wrong.
Dream big and don’t ever let anyone make you think small. Be a giver and do it without asking for anything in return. When you are chasing your dream it’s important to lead others to do the same.
Hang in There
There will be times when your self-doubt will test you. It’ll make you think that you aren’t worthy, ignore it. You are way bigger than that.
When things get rough you can vent for a bit and then move on. You are only human. Look at upcoming obstacles as a challenge. I wish that I could tell you that you won’t get any, but you will.
It’s part of your journey. Something that is bound to happen. Don’t worry because it will soon pass as soon as it arrives.
Determination Goes a Long Way
Be determined about what it is that you are seeking in life. The most successful people walk through fear because their commitment pushes them past it. Be that person.
Through it all you will shed layers of doubt and you will gain layers of maturity. If there is one thing that your independence will teach you is perseverance and true grit.
Three things that you should always keep in your pocket are: your integrity, your morals and your faith. This is a time that you will see what you are made of. It’s a big test to see if you will either give up or keep going.
The good news is that you are not alone. You can always lean on me no matter where you are. When in doubt all that you must do is look up.
Believe in yourself the way that I believe in you. I know that you will still carry a bit of me with you. You’ll remember our talks and I hope that will move you forward.
Although this may seem like the end of what we have always known it’s only the beginning. This is the part where it gets even better yet again. The part where you get to be the director of your own story.
As you embark on your next chapter be ready to create your own opportunities. Don’t wait around for them to arrive. Do the work and the rest will soon follow.
You are well on your way to greatness. This is the moment where you embrace how lucky you are. It is where you get to pursue everything that you have ever wanted. A dream in the making is waiting for you.
Although it feels bittersweet know that I am happy for you. For you are chasing your dream like I knew that you would.
In my mind you’ll always be my baby, but for now I must let you take the lead. I’ll be watching on the sidelines rooting for you every step of the way.
You have us, your family giving you high fives. Be ready because you have what it takes and then some. It’s time to discover the part of you that has been waiting for this moment.
Now’s your time to gather all your hopes and wishes. Put them before you to allow yourself to dream big.
Why stop there though? I say dream as big as you are willing to go. Even if it seems impossible. For when you do great things are sure to happen.