5 Things I Learned In Sending A Son Away To College

We are well into our years as empty-nesters. Both of our boys have finished college, one is in grad school, but both are supporting themselves and on their own.

I loved the time with our boys at home. We had great relationships. They were (and are) two of my best friends.

The first son attended a local college and lived at home most of the time. It was a different season, but we still got to spend a lot of time together. The youngest went to school 8 hours from home.

I’ll never forget the feelings of driving away from him freshmen year. Wow! It was painful. I mourned. I cried. It was a deeply sad occasion. If you’re going through that now — I’m praying for you as I type this post.

In the process of him leaving I learned a few things:

It was much harder than I thought letting go. My counseling background tells me I began a mini-depression about a month before he left and it was a few months afterwards, probably shortly after the first semester ended and the Christmas break ended, before I felt “normal” again.

I prepared my boy, but not my emotions. I am not an extremely emotional person. This changed the day I said “goodbye”, got in the car and drove back home. I was an emotional wreck.

It is never the same, but it can be better — at least in some ways. I missed seeing Nate terribly, but our talks became even more open and honest than when he was at home. As he grew to be a man, our relationship became deeper, more personal.

I couldn’t wait for his calls/texts/emails. There was a charge in my spirit when I looked down at my phone and saw it was Nate. I longed for communication. When our boys were at home we had disciplines — such as a nightly meal — where we could discuss the events of the day. We couldn’t expect those every day from college. And, most days they didn’t happen — but when they did it was golden.

It began a new phase of life for Cheryl and me. Our parenting is not over, but our role has changed. We began to make new dreams — just for the two of us. We enjoy our time with our boys when we are with them, but we love our life together. It’s a good season.

Shortly after Nate went to college I wrote him an email and posted it here. You can read the post HERE.

For some things I have learned in parenting, see this CATEGORY.

Related Posts

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

16 thoughts on “5 Things I Learned In Sending A Son Away To College

  1. I live and work in a small town. On one hand I fear that raising my kids here, somewhat limits them to the opportunities available to them elsewhere. On the other hand, I fear that if they discover all of those opportunities they'll one day move away and I'll hardly see them. How do you balance those two thoughts? Mine just started kindergarten last week.

  2. College life is best part of every student's life which give him to learn ethics and pleasures of life. I just on my first visit to your blog realise that you having excellent experience from edcation.

  3. I am not even at that stage my son has a year left of high school and my emotions are already all over the place. I was in church the other day and I told my husband, "what if I can't let go?" And he said "Honey we have no choice." And he is right, it is just hard.

    • It was absolutely one of the toughest seasons of my life. Not trying to bring you down…but it was. Sometimes being prepared helps!
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  4. I'll tell you, my two boys are almost 5 and 3 and the two email updates I've read about your sending Nate off, and the emotions have made me tear up… I've got years before I get there and I can already imagine how hard it will be!