This weekend my husband and I dropped our first born off for his first year of college. 5 hours away. It’s crazy to think that he won’t be here every day. It was an emotional goodbye because let’s face it – I’m going to miss him LIKE CRAZY.
And it made me think about the day he was born. My husband and I were very young and excited. We had read all of the books about pregnancy and the first year and we were pumped up and ready to rock this parenting thing. Then, the nurses handed us this little bundle of blue, helped us get him loaded into his car seat for the first time and sent us on our way.
OMG – They are going to let us leave the hospital with him. And they didn’t even give us an instruction manual!
C’mon Moms/Dads…admit it. You thought the same thing. Just because you’d read those books, didn’t mean you were ready! In fact, you were PETRIFIED to get home with this little human being knowing that you were completely responsible for it! Your mind racing with ‘what-ifs’. What if he won’t stop crying? What if he never sleeps again? What if I break him?
But you couldn’t hide in the safety net of the hospital forever – so, off you went. And day by day you got better and more confident with this whole parenting thing. It wasn’t always easy. Sometimes there were tears (from everyone), some days were frustrating. Some days you were angry and other days were full of laughter. As a parent, you had to make decisions quickly and they weren’t always the right ones (and often they weren’t the most popular). Some days you were a friend, some days you felt as though you were entering enemy territory.
So here is my message to all of you Moms and Dads who dropped their kids off at college/university this weekend. To all the Moms and Dads who helped their kids move in to and set up their first apartment or their dorm room. To all the Moms and Dads whose kids graduated high school and decided that they needed a little more time before they head off to post-secondary. To all the Moms and Dads whose kids aren’t quite at this age yet.
It is ok to be sad to see them go. It is ok to cry. It is ok to worry about them and to demand that they text you every single day just so that you know they are alive and safe (I did this – and my son laughed and rolled his eyes at me). It is ok to miss them like crazy.
But more than sad, you should feel damn proud. Yes of course you should be proud of them…But what I am saying here is that you should be seriously damn proud of yourselves. You raised that little scary bundle of blue or pink to be an independent decision making young adult. And THAT my friends deserves a HIGH FIVE. Despite all of the “mistakes” you think you made along the way, YOU DID IT! And it wasn’t as terrifying as you once thought it would be….well, perhaps parts of it were, but every moment was worth it – and YOU MADE IT THROUGH!!
It doesn’t matter if they are off to do studies to become a doctor or a lawyer or whether they are off to learn an awesome trade. It doesn’t matter if they are working to be chefs or artists or nurses or writers. It doesn’t matter if they’re studying math or science or english or psychology. Whether they are learning to be carpenters, plumbers, web designers or accountants or whether they are taking some extra classes in high school or online. Or maybe they’re taking a year off to travel or find themselves or work to make some extra money. What matters is that they made their decisions and you supported them and that is just #awesome
In the crazy world of the internet and social media, I often find that people spend too much time criticizing other people’s parenting and less time celebrating each others awesomeness. So to all of you parents who feed your kids organic – high five. And to those of you who don’t – high five, too! To the ones who let their kids watch “R”-Rated movies and to those who don’t, high five! To the parents who set their kids’ bedtimes at 7 and for those who let their kids stay up till midnight – high five! To the parents who swear in front of their kids and to those who don’t, high five!! To the “Pinterest-Type” parents who create the most incredible lunches (that I only dream of having the time or energy to make…lol) – high five! And to the parents who are throwing together last minute lunches on the way out the door, high five!
Most of all: To all of you who just want to raise decent, respectful, confident, self-sufficient, kind-hearted, overall good human beings, HIGH FIVE!!!!
As I hopped into the truck to drive home from my son’s first apartment with teary-eyes and an overwhelming feeling of sadness, a wave of pride came over me and I took a moment to high-five my amazing husband (and myself) because damn it – without an instruction manual, we took that perfect (terrifying) little blue bundle home from the hospital and totally rocked that parenting thing! HIGH.FIVE!