There are countless articles written to “assist” with the transition of one’s child going off to college. It is all very similar to the baby books and all the “helpful” resources telling people how to navigate raising a child. For the record, I tossed those well-meaning abysses of advice to the side and I forged my own path. So, now that we are hiking a new terrain, I can’t even stomach these heartfelt essays. First they say to not tell your child how you feel about them leaving. Really? In this household, we don’t hide our feelings. We don’t minimize. Instead we validate. So, when I snot cried all over Bryce that was me sharing how I felt. I am not a good hider. I don’t have a poker face. That whole not telling your kid how you feel is bullshit. Now, if you are crying every time you speak to your kid after they have left, you might have bigger issues. There is a balance, friends.
One article suggested to not go overboard on the care packages. Seriously? What kid is going to get annoyed by their favorites foods being delivered to their dorm? I can see if you are sending them their favorite stuffed animal that they haven’t slept with since they were 8 or photos of the two of you dressed alike might stretch the boundaries of appropriate care package etiquette. So, that we are clear…….favorite foods are a go and creepy photos/ childhood toys/stuffed animals are a no.
Yes, the contact with your child will diminish. Bryce calls me every other day, but keep in mind that school hasn’t started, and his time is a little more manageable. But, I let him initiate the calls. Do I want to call and check in? Duh, of course, I do, but I am letting him set the tone for the interactions. I am sure that once school starts those calls will be more spread out, but that is okay. He is doing his thing and I am doing mine. It is called living a life and we both have one.
Here is the deal. Do what works for you. Stop conforming to all of these ridiculous articles filled with unsolicited advice. Let them set the tone for this separation. This transition is hard. There is no epidural for the pain that you feel, but there is wine, those people in your tribe, and whole lot to look forward to as you watch your child make their mark in the world.