Sunday, August 21, 2011
Boo Hoo or Ya Hooo, Children off to College
Boo hoo or Ya hooo!!
In the flurry of activity of packing up our young adult children for college it can become quite the emotional roller coaster. One moment we as parents are ecstatic for our kids that they've made it this far alive and well, and the next we're choking up just thinking about the moment of parting.
No matter how many times my husband reminds me that a child just having the opportunity to go off to his/her school of choice is exactly where we want them to be in life, it is still difficult to not slide into the "empty nest syndrome" of mourning the years of childhood now gone.
After four years of saying hello and goodbye to our daughter, it is getting easier to accept that our time together is basically going to be lunch dates, shopping trips and short visits on holidays. Now grad school has taken her physically even farther away, but her dreams have become so much closer.
Our son has had one foot out the door for months, and with Facebook and social networking he has made enough connections to already feel a bit "settled in" at his school. Next week will be quite the challenge to organize the chaos in his room and be on our way to his dorm.
Interesting is that I can remember when I left home years ago and thinking very little about what effects it was having on my parents. Watching my own children take wing I realize how healthy and normal it is for them to want to get out there and take on life's challenges. That means we did a job well done in their character development.
But it is a grieving process none the less for those left behind. The trick is to identify yourself as more than just someone's mom, dad or paycheck. Now is the time to rediscover who were are and what dreams and talents got buried years back as not being practical.
With more time for ourselves or our spouses, it doesn't take long to realize that this new chapter in our lives can be a good thing. Those days of endless taxiing kids around, laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning, homework, exhaustion....
Imagine having evening hours to have time to read, sew, exercise, go back to school; to actually play again rather than just check off the to do list till bedtime.
Weekends can become date nights with your significant other or spouse. How exciting is that!
When the kids do come home they actually may be enthusiastic to see us! Imagine that!
I snapped myself out of my slump just writing this.
One thing I now look forward to is the luxury of an evening bath with either a bath salt, bath oil or bath scrub. Follow up with a skin pampering body oil or body butter.
All these types of things used to be appreciated gifts but sat unused on a shelf in exchange for a quick shower. Time to be left alone to just "be" is very therapeutic both physically and mentally.
Any of the three shop locations below carries these bath products along with many items for personal and family care.