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August 15, 2011


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Hi Jen. My oldest has 3 more years of HS before leaving for University. Not only will he be leaving home, but he plans to move to another continent. Please re-post this every August. I love your perspective and could use the 'boost'. I hope that I can let him go without tears too.

gary rith

a) you are right, a teen wants to say goodbye when they get to college and b) GOOD FOR YOU helping to teach him to be an independent adult--lesson one, navigating the miles on his own :)

Slow Panic

I think it's great you sent him off on his own and didn't hover over him.

J13 started 7th grade last week -- the year they move into a new building and into a high school setting -- lockers, different classrooms/teachers, study hall, etc.

I dropped him off at the front door but quite a few parents were walking there kids in -- even though they'd done open house/fill the locker thing the night before. I was proud of J13 for being independent. Maybe I shouldn't criticize those other parents -- but I was proud of both of us for taking the right steps.

Aunt Snow

You're such a great mom.

My one and only is now living in another country. When they go, they really do go, but they make you proud.


Yep, I'm a crier and that brought a tear to my eye. I've been super emotional about each one of them leaving and mostly it is because I am so absolutely thrilled that they are about to launch into their own lives. #4 and I leave on Saturday, I drop her off on Monday. #1 is going to have to pick up the pieces of me when I return to her house Monday night.


I have a good 7 years to go until this transition, but I don't imagine I'll cry at the time, since I'm not a crier either. However, I do imagine I'll sit in the house afterward feeling very strange at the emptiness (even though I often wish for just such emptiness on a temporary basis!).


I accompanied both my older kids on the first move-in andI agree that the excitement of the transition is greater than the feelings that might bring tears.

We are driving our youngest across the bay tomorrow and right now she is talking about us staying around for the evening events - but I suspect that when the time comes, she will want to get to know her roommate and be off on her own. As she should be.

suburbancorrespondent who fancies herself an editor

Yup, by the time they are 18, both me and the teen are more than ready for them to take that next big step. And for parents who don't want to risk big bucks on college for a not-yet-mature-enough teen (believe me, my son observed plenty of those wasting time and money on a college campus), there is always the Coast Guard or some other branch of the military to go off to, rather than stay under the parents' roof and feel trapped. I'd say that kids who have shown no initiative in their high school work and little initiative in the college search would probably be better off with that latter option. And when they're done? They have a fantastic GI Bill for tuition money, a living stipend, and 3 years of living as an adult under their belts to help them get the most out of college. It's a win-win.


I think leaving home is so important. My mom and dad said I was not allowed to go to college in the same city I grew up in, because it would not be the same experience. And I am glad I had it. Yay for you for being such a good mom


My daughter chose a college close to home, but (over my husband's objections) I insisted that she live on campus. It was wonderful! Initially she wanted to come home every weekend, but that tapered off by Thanksgiving, and she was eager to go back to campus.

mom taxi julie

I'm a bit of a crier. I admit it. But I still want them to go lol


you're awesome. have you spoken to him since he left?

Busy Bee Suz

Ok, this almost made ME tear up. Yes, I am a real sissy.
I love what you wrote here, and it is SO true. WINGS!!!!!
(and Abby above and I have almost the same situation-minus the husband objection!)


Ok, I have to admit I cried a little bit when my oldest left. But the army seems scarier than college. My youngest, however, insists that she DOES want to live with us for the rest of her life. Of course, she's only 8...and is now getting the boys in the neighborhood to stop bugging her and her friends by pulling the "my sister's in the army!" card. For some reason, it works. :)


Best experience of my life was college! Prepared me to make good decisions on my own, long before cell phones and email, I talked to my parents once a week at 8 pm on Sunday night.
Go DB! And Mom. You will both be fine.


Everyone is different, and handles things in their own way. I, myself, am a crier. I am pretty sure I will cry when my son goes to kindergarten, and I"m pretty sure I will cry when he goes to college. But, I will also have all those excited feelings. I think I will cry mostly because I will miss him, not because of any fear of how things will turn out.


(raises hand) Another crier here! I almost cried reading your post. And I did cry today while talking with some former students who are going off to college, mostly because I am so happy for them and I know how hard they worked to get to this place.

I love your perspective on DB leaving.

Deb D

I didn't cry when I dropped either of mine off. Computer Dude goes to school an hour away and it truly was an unload and leave exercise. It felt very strange. Engineering Guy's school was nice enough to have a parent/student brunch and his room mates parents wanted to meet us so we all brunched together before we left.

For both I was excited, a bit worried to have them off on their own but it was time. This is what we raise them to do.


Yay for you Jen! It IS all about them and we should be proud and anxious to see them spread those wings.It's not an exile, just another chapter which will craft a new version of our loved ones and that's kind of fun (& scary) to watch unfold but it is the RIGHT thing. Mine is staying home for 2 years @ a school nearby that offers a program you can go for free if you maintain a certain GPA. He never looked at other schools, just knew all along this was for him and as much as I wanted him to flap those wings, I also know having the saftey net of home will give him some stability in what is going to be a crazy ride from here on out. To all our "babies" travelling toward their dreams...good luck!


I agree with Catherine. You need to post this every year. My son will be off to college in 3 years too. I know that it is the best thing, I also know that I will cry. It's a tough one for me as he is my only child. Of course that's even more of a reason for him to leave the nest.

JCK (Motherscribe)

Well, I'm crying by GOD!

I loved what you said here. Most especially about the trust and that he will find his wings on his own. And come back a man. Lovely and bittersweet...

So glad I got to meet DB and SB!


okay...i'm a crier, but...i'm getting better. i love this post...and i'm going to share this with my mom and sister-in-law, both of whom are criers and having a very hard time about my oldest nephew leaving for school. i actually mentioned you in a phone conversation the other day...maybe the written word will help. and yes...definitely...post this every year, please. maybe i have a few years before my oldest leaves for school, but, here in japan, finishing junior high and going to high school is a very emotional time...i will need it next year. thanks, luv.
and yes...i'm bowing down in your general direction right now, because that is what we do for someone we love and respect.


My youngest started college last year and it was tough for both my husband and I. We drove him and stayed in the city for another day or so to make sure he had everything. It's an urban "campus" instead of a traditional college, so we were a little uneasy even though we totally believed it was going to be the best thing for him. A year later we are so proud of him and his independence -- but we did cry. It's what we do :)


i was afraid I would be a crier on Monday, but I did not. As soon as the stuff was in the dorm room and the last forgotten items were purchased at the Walmart- he was off to his new adventure. I realize this is what we raised them for... it will just take some time to reset the mom switch a bit.


I'm so excited for my kids to start their own adventures that I don't think I would (will) cry either. It seems like it will be very satisfying to see them go out on their own! Good job mom!

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