This year we went from four full-time-at-home students because of COVID to three-living-away-full-time students and one only-home-a-bit students.
Back on July 4, Laura moved out to an apartment in our town. On August 20 Catie moved into her dorm at Messiah (1.5 hours away). On August 26 we moved Bennett into a dorm in our town and then on September 7 we moved Ethan into a dorm at Overbrook School for the Blind where he lives Monday through Friday and comes home on the weekends.
It’s been….nothing like what I thought it would be. I jokingly said (leading up to it) that half of me was jumping up and down with joy and the other half was rocking in the corner.
The reality is, honestly, I’m fine. I’m neither joyful nor sad. I know parents who have needed counseling when their child left for college. I’ve known parents and children so at each other’s throats that there was rejoicing when the child left. I’m definitely neither of those. What I notice most is the lack of focusing on them. When they are here, with all their physical and mental things, that’s where my focus is as well. Who am I taking to the doctor? Is that child due for a med check? Are you running out of your meds? Oh you have another migraine? With them away, those issues are not my issues; they rightfully are their issues and responsibilities.
These last few years (COVID notwithstanding) have been a process of stepping back and letting go. My kids tend to be “young” for their age (and that’s not including Ethan, which is a whole ‘nother post!) and they seem to be perfectly content to let me handle their appointments and meds and…and….and everything! It’s been WONDERFUL letting THEM deal with everything and honestly, truly, not worrying about them. I know that will regress a bit when they come home for breaks and I’m once again in charge of rides to and from doctor appointments. None of them drive–two for vision reasons, one for a seizure and the other has her permit but can’t practice away at school. I’ve made the rule that I will drive to doctor appointments (and attend if necessary), but you are on your own for everything else–we have Uber and buses, thankyouverymuch.
Fall break for the colleges starts Friday after classes finish. I’ll be curious to see what it’s like around here with everyone home for the first time in over two months.