What I Learned During My Son’s First Semester at College


My oldest son finished his first semester away at college. He’s been challenged in ways that make my mom heart sad. Ways that were initially our reasons – reasons for ever starting this crazy journey we call homeschool. He’s learned many things this semester, but much of his education took place outside the classroom.

I’m pretty sure I learned even more…

1. I can trust God with him.
I know this now more than ever before. When our kids live under our roof, it’s a little easier to help God out with this. 🙂 News flash! God really doesn’t need me to help Him figure things out. If He knows the stars by name, I know that He hasn’t forgotten my boy and will take care of him.
Nothing will catch Him by surprise. He will even help him find his keys again. And again. And trust me … that is something that only God can do! Above all else, my mom heart just wants to know that he’s ok.
I can trust God with that.

2. “Letting go” allows our relationship to grow.
Prior to my son leaving for college, I cried at the thought of having to drop him off … and leave him there. While it was very difficult to drive away, leaving him behind alone with no friends in a room that his roommate had tastefully decorated with a skull head and a buddha was crazy hard. I knew I had to “let go” but my mom heart hurt so bad that I gripped tighter.
Over the next few days/weeks, I texted. I called. Too much.
He needed space.
He needed room … to breathe.
Finally, I let days go by without attempts to reach him and it got a little easier. Then days turned to (gasp) a week! I have 6 other kiddos at home which helped the time zoom – God have mercy on my youngest son!
Amazingly, I’ve found that he’s much more free to share his life when I’m not strangling it right out of him 🙂 The more I let go, the stronger our relationship grows. So counter-intuitive to my mom heart….

3. I must put my big girl panties on and deal with it.
It’s just kind of a saying we have in our home. Dinner isn’t your favorite? Deal with it. You’re tired of your chores? Deal with it. Your house was hit by a tornado requiring 4 moves? Deal with it. And so on. There’s times when we just have to deal with it.
Yes, I’ve cried many tears. My feelings have been hurt. My expectations went unmet and I’ve questioned the seemingly rude and unthoughtful human being that just flew out of my nest.
While I’m throwing a pity party and wondering why he hasn’t answered my text from 3 days ago, he’s trying to figure out how to survive multiple professors, where to find food, how to get to class, where to find food, make friends, figure out how to maneuver a 25,000-person campus, where to find more food as well as hold down a part-time job as well!

Unthoughtful and rude? No. He’s trying to figure it out. He’s moved on. We all do it. We fly out of the nest. We’re all transitioning. It’s a normal, natural progression of life.
While I miss his late-night, daily download of life, his frequent hugs, his piles, his funny laugh, his political rants, his hair and his 10-egg omelets and deep philosophical conversations post-midnight … I must deal with it, even when sometimes I’d rather clip his wings.
And I’m certain that he is too …

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