I want to thank everyone who “liked”and commented on this profile picture on Facebook. I felt compelled to post it in recognition of all moms who are currently dealing with saying ‘goodbye’ to their daughters and their sons as they leave for college or as they leave home to experience life as responsible young adults armed with tools to navigate life and bring much good to the world. I wish I could suggest a ritual that mothers could go through to lessen the anxieties which come quite naturally at a time like this! As some find it difficult to convince themselves that everything will be alright, others are quite excited to see their daughters and sons leave home for an institution of higher learning, or take a stab at the responsibilities and excitement of adulthood, knowing that a firm foundation has been laid for them to tap into when in doubt. You can believe that all will be well since you gave it your best shot!
This is a photo of me with my daughter as she was getting ready to leave for college a few years ago. What struck me about this particular picture, is the serious and warm embrace that suggests a relationship that could not be closer and more precious. That relationship which comes once in an ‘adolescence lifetime’! I ask parents to keep memories of special moments close to their hearts so that they can access them whenever they begin to really miss their student, or when they feel tempted to find out what their young adult, who has left home, is up to. I remember when my son left home for school the first time, I let out such a chilling scream at his New Student Assembly event that even I would have taken cover under a chair if my mother “behaved” like that. Luckily for me, he responded by placing his arm around me and comforting me. That was precious! He had to have been wise beyond his year to understand what that uncontrollable shriek, that almost stopped the “show”, was all about.
Moms, and Dads, I say, cry if you must. Do not suppress that unsettling feeling of the unknown, the emptiness brought on by parting, or anxiety that is not uncommon at a time like this. One thing you can do is establish a routine to keep the lines of communication open while they are away at school and keep them lifted up in prayer. Let them know you will never tire of being their pillar of support.
I end by asking good villagers in the way of professors, school administrators, family members, level-headed friends, housemates, community members, police or the store owner down the road, to please continue doing what good villagers do – even in America.