Leaving for College
by Charlotte Siems
This is our son’s life for the next few weeks. Oh, the cold, cruel world.
Caleb leaves for college soon and due to our family’s summer schedule with camps and trips, we decided to go ahead and box up his stuff and paint the bedroom in preparation for a new occupant. His sister chose a light robin’s egg blue and now he has to live with it for a little while.
This will actually be less stressful than packing, painting and moving as soon as we return from vacation.
Meanwhile I find myself with a lump in my throat at odd times. Caleb will be our seventh child to leave home so I know the drill. We’ll attend the new student activities at college and get him moved into the dorm, then I’ll cry when it’s time to leave.
It’s never the same after they leave home.
Sure, they come to visit and maybe even stay for awhile but they have new friends and a new life. We stand by as advisors and supporters (and pray-ers), but the decisions and consequences are theirs.
When they’re little kids it seems that this day will never come. We’re aggravated because they won’t potty train and we despair that they’ll ever sleep through the night. We wash their clothes, feed them, apply band-aids and tell them to shush in church. We watch in amazement as they grow tall and start shaving, and then….they’re gone.
Caleb’s departure will mark a new season of life for the family. For the first time more children will be gone than at home. We’ll have only one son at home and his four sisters. With five boys in a row, for a long time it seemed as if we had an endless supply of guys.
Memories have been popping up lately. Caleb memorizing the entire book Blueberries for Sal when he was three years old. The time he boarded a school bus across the street because “he wanted to see the Magic Schoolbus.” All the desserts he cooked for the family. His performances in the community theater.
Mommies, there is an end in sight. It’s just hard to see around the bend sometimes.
Take heart and live with that end in sight. I know it seems like forever while you’re doing it, but when they’re packing to leave it will seem like the blink of an eye.
This week we’ll be preparing for Caleb’s graduation party. His brother will arrive home after a summer away in Florida. Another brother will return from Colorado in a few weeks. Then they’ll all leave to head back to school.
The revolving door of large family life will swing open once again. We’ll say hello….and goodbye.
I think I’ll go have a good cry.
Please pass the Kleenex and leave a comment below….