How can he be off to college already?
Mary Budde, WATG Treasurer and Board Member
As parents, we fully throw ourselves into the most important role we will ever have--raising our children through the years, teaching social skills, nurturing emotional needs and promoting educational growth. For those of us in the GT world, the constant quest for appropriate educational challenges is something which has, at times, consumed us. We feel the struggles of our children, and celebrate their successes along the way. We advocate for them, and we ultimately teach them to advocate for themselves, so that they are prepared to embark on adulthood.
Sounds like I’ve had it under control, right?
Not entirely. As much as I thought I was prepared for dropping off our son at college five hours from home, I was less than calm in the days leading up to it. I was sure I had forgotten a whole bunch of things that at some point I had thought he had to take along. There must be some form we forgot to complete. We didn’t test the refrigerator to see if it worked before packing it. And on and on and on …
I did manage, though, to keep most of that turmoil inside by focusing on staying present. I didn’t want to add to anyone else’s stress, especially our son’s, nor did I want to miss any moments before he left. For his part, he was, at least outwardly, confident and ready to attend a college all of us thought was a perfect fit for him. So, we packed up the van and headed out on Moving Day.
And you know what? We were all fine. We didn’t forget anything critical. He has found the local stores, in addition to Amazon, for the few things he needed that he didn’t have. He enjoyed the first month of school even more than he hoped he would and is thriving on the academic work. He and his roommate (whom he first met in person on Moving Day) get along. He has the beginnings of lots of new friendships. It won’t all be idyllic, but a good start is worth a lot.
Above all else, we want our children to be happy in every aspect of their lives; sometimes that means we have to let them experience on their own and risk less-than-great situations. We have to trust that while we may not have done it perfectly, we did our best to prepare them for whatever the next stage of life brings.
I can’t wait to have him home at Thanksgiving. After all, I am still his mom.