As a parent, there are many stages in life that you go through with your child. You have their birth, watching them learn to walk, go off to Kindergarten, struggling with homework, and the if you did things right, you get to watch them walk off the stage at their high school graduation. Along the way, there are ups and downs, awards and getting in trouble, but through it all, you are proud to watch your child grow into the adult that you knew was inside them from day one.
Now I get to enter the next stage as a parent, and it is by far the hardest step that I have had to take and that is learning to let go and watch them go off to college. Don’t get me wrong – it is a great thing to have your child choose a location and work towards standing on their own two feet. But it is a hard step nevertheless. I mean, for myself and my wife, we are watching our son move 700 miles away to New Mexico State University, and it is the proudest moment yet for us both.
However it is a sad moment, as you know for the first time ever, your child will no longer be there under your protective wing. I can’t lie that I constantly think of both the great things that he will get to see that I did not, but the worry of what could happen while away. I know that the college has things in place to watch out for your young adult, but it does not put that worry at ease. As a parent, you are always worried about what could happen while your child is away from home and trust me, 700 miles is a long way, as I have driven it several times now!
It is weird feeling both proud and sad at the same time. It has been very emotional for me to think about the upcoming date when he takes off on his own (my son would question this as he tends to think I have no emotions!), but I have been an internal wreck for a few days now thinking about how fast the time will be here when he leaves.
I know he is going off to make himself a better person and have the ability to stand on his own two feet and make a new life for himself in this world, and I could not be prouder at the thought of that success. But I will be sad when I look in his room in August and realize my little buddy is no longer there every day.
I know this isn’t what I would normally post here, but I want the parents of the world know, make sure to enjoy all the time you have with your kids, because they will grow up and while it will be a proud moment for you to see them reach for the stars and make their own dreams come true, it will also be a sad moment for you to see them go off on their own. Just know that you will still always be there for them, just with a little more distance between you and them.