Eighteen years ago I did the most amazing thing – I gave birth to my son. It was a miracle, such pain and joy and love all rolled into one.
Today my boy left home, to start his own journey in a city far away. I feel those birthing pains again as I let him go; I love him to bits and pray for his future and his protection. Even after all those years I feel unprepared.
Have you read actor Rob Lowe’s account of sending his son to college? I don’t think anything prepares you for this day. I urge you to read this article as it captures the ‘letting go’ with great clarity.
Dad, what if it’s too hard for me here?” he asks me later, sitting on his fold-out bed back at the hotel, looking more “fresh” than “man.”
“You came from a very tough academic school with great grades. You took the tests, you got the scores, you did the hours and you did the travel and extracurriculars. You made it happen. No one else. This won’t be any different. This school chose you because they know you can succeed here.”
“None of the other kids look scared at all,” he says, and for the first time I can remember since he was a baby, I can see his eyes welling up. I want to reach out and hug him, but I don’t. Instead I look him in the eye.
“Never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.”
There is much pain and joy in the letting go. As father and mother, parents to our son we share this journey together. As a family we regroup, smaller around the dinner table, different banter and chat. No one tells jokes like he does. Our lives will be altered. There is now only 6mouths2feed and I am somewhat unprepared.