I have waited 21 years to say this: my son is graduating from college this weekend.
It is hard to reflect without cliché. So I won’t wonder where the time went. Not exactly anyway.
Instead, I’d like to send a message to parents who might be preparing for an empty nest in the coming months. It’s a tough thing to say goodbye to your baby, who at times might also be acting like a three-headed adolescent monster, bless his heart.
Four years ago I thought my life had ended. I couldn’t imagine not having our only child around every day.
The February before his 2006 high school graduation, I saw an ad for a writing contest on the subject of motherhood. I can’t recall specifically what it called for, but I took the opportunity to channel my dread and anxiety into an essay.
It undoubtedly provides no comfort to know that, for me, reality played out far worse than the dread. I wished someone had told me how hard it would be to experience the separation. Thankfully, someone did assure me it would get better. And it did. Someone else assured me that, like all adolescents who live in a wormhole for years, my son would come out on the other end, once again pleasant and respectful. And he has.
To parents on this side of Orientation, pace yourselves. While the college experience does go by quickly, it can be a long and arduous trek, as you and your child navigate your way though a changing relationship and work together to seek solutions to problems that inevitably arise. But take comfort, little by little, you will adjust to your empty nest, your child will come out of the wormhole and so will you.