The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

They're Off To College

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

August 29, 2012

With three grandchildren off to college, I am watching my children go through the same motions that I did with them, not too long ago.

My daughter, Tami Postle, put an entry on her Facebook about what she called "one of the hardest days of her life" as she and her family dropped off Ali at NIU in DeKalb, for her Freshman year at college.

Her post read:

"Definitely one of the hardest days for me so far as I left my baby girl at college. For 20 years since my son was born I have lived my life for them. Not that it's over by any means, I just know it will never be the same. Parenting is truly a blessing, but can be tough at times. Letting go has been extremely hard for me. I want them to be independent strong adults but yet I want them to still need me. I know she will love this time! College is an awesome experience. I just want her to remember everything I taught her and I pray for her safety. As Scott, Drew and I walked away from her dorm, I sobbed. My son put his arm around me and held me tight all the way to the car. Yeah he's a pretty amazing guy and as I was typing this my phone rang. It was Ali making sure we got home ok. Yep the tears are coming now but they are happy ones because I know I'm on her mind and that she still needs me."

For you who do not have Facebook, it's a way many socialize and keep connected. She received 62 "likes" from community for that post, and 39 comments saying "I feel your pain," "hang in there, they will always need you!" "she has you on speed dial", let's start a support group", "pick up extra work", "do extra things with Scott".

One said, when her daughter went to college she cried for hours and when her husband got home he reminded her, she didn't die...she just went to college!

Much good advice and sympathy and encouragement came though those posts.

"It's a very bitter sweet time! You miss them so much but happy for them at the same time! Trust that you raised wonderful children and use this time for yourself and fun with your hubby!"

A gal from Texas posted, "I still call my Mama...she is my best friend forever!" "I am praying for you now to have the peace that will allow you to unwrap the gift of the new chapter God is writing in your relationship."

As my grandkids have grown older and older, my daughter became busier and busier with them, and I have sat home wondering when she would call or if she would ever have time or want to do something fun with me like we use to.

On the days her children haven't called, just maybe, I'll get a call from her. I'm not sure when it happens that we start to realize that parents have the same needs as their children.

They don't want to take over their lives, but they don't want to be forgotten by the ones they love.