It has been exactly one week since we dropped my oldest son at college and I have some observations that I would like to share with you. Please note that the following are in no particular order.
1. It stinks! No, really. I was told over and over again that I would get used to it, maybe even learn to enjoy having to buy less food, do less laundry and focus more on my other children. Hooey! News flash, my food bill this week was the same as last week, I am a complete laundry fanatic so less is definitely not more in my book and as for the other children? I have had multiple friends tell me that I am the only person they know who has four children, but who treats them each as though they were only children. They always get plenty of attention, trust me.
2. Time may be my friend ( a lovely acquaintance told me that once), but while I have come to accept this new normal, I will never, ever like it.
3. College life disrupts the familial dynamic. For instance, 'college boy' and I have a very close relationship but, apparently, it is not as close as I had thought when we are on the phone. All of a sudden, my chatty son, with whom I have engaged in sparkling conversation while in high school, has now become a monosyllabic wonder. He does call me per our 'communication plan' that everyone told me we needed to have before he left ('give him some control,' 'don't overwhelm him with having to call home all the time'...yeah yeah yeah), but it is like pulling teeth to get him to communicate during the calls. I am seeing a pattern, however, that I think is part of his master plan. He calls thus fulfilling his end of the deal, he talks about what he wants to, I ask a question, he suddenly becomes too busy to continue the conversation and hangs up. I did get a couple of calls about doing the wash this morning that were quite interactive, however. Yay!
4. No matter how many books I read on the subject nor how many internet articles I digested, nothing could have prepared me for how abruptly I went from knowing so much about my son and his life to (a mere one week later) him having a life of his own. Some days I simply cannot get my brain around that. He is off at school making friends I have not yet met, taking classes I know little about and seeing and doing things about which I had no input. Some might say that this was seventeen years in the making but to me, it seems like only yesterday he had my neck in a vice grip during music class when the instructor took out a puppet to show the class. Yup, terrified of the puppet. Surely he was scared for life.
This is certainly a learning experience for us both, but I know he got the better end of the deal. He is off starting his own independent life with new experiences, challenges and rewards. While I am here in our old life, only without him as a part of our day to day, missing him like crazy and hoping that he remembers to continue to call home for more than just advice about his laundry.