The Agony & the Ecstasy of Launching My College Freshman into His New Life



“The days are long and the years are short.” ~Gretchen Rubin

We don’t want our kids to know that our hearts are breaking. It’s not about us, should not be about us. It’s about them stepping out of the chrysalus and spreading their well-earned wings.

I can’t even write about leaving my kid at college yet. It’s just too raw. I am so proud, so happy for him and grieving all at once. A wonderfully brilliant thing that hurts so much.

Lisa Earle MacLeod did write about the experience, and very well. She says,

“One minute, you’re living with one of the most exciting interesting people you’ve ever met. The next minute, you’re watching them pack up their stuff to leave. It’s awful. It’s also totally worth it.”

Yup, that says it all. I have confidence the pain will ease. We will adapt to the new reality. In the mean time, thank God for cell phones! The day after we dropped him off, I felt like Odysseus tied to the mast of his ship, resisting the urge to call my son. I would not be one of those parents who can’t let go! Then I got this text: “Hey! Just wanted to say I love you guys and I’m doing well!”

If you can relate to any of this, if you know someone who can, I invite you to share this link and your experience and feelings in the Comments!

Read Lisa’s entire article, “The Terrible Thing That Happened When I Wasn’t Looking.” 

Thanks to Amy Jo Lauber of Lauber Financial Planning for sending me the link.

2 comments


  • Maureen

    Hi Dr. A,
    I’ve been thinking of you! Sending my warmest thoughts, Maureen

    2011/09/05
  • [...] My son returns to college after a nice long break. This is like a mini-what-I-went-through-last-fall. I don’t like it but that’s too bad. It’s good that my son loves his college and has friends [...]

    2012/01/20

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