I’m not quite sure why I wasn’t more prepared for the heartache that accompanied my first guy leaving for college. Growing up, we didn’t really discuss it much because an education was just expected. I dressed all my boys in Duck gear, assuming they’d study in Eugene. In hindsight, that was just wishful thinking or I jinxed it. Either way, I had to send my oldest off to the United Kingdom for school instead of Autzen Stadium. There would have been tears regardless of where he chose to study, but I’m telling myself that my excessive crying was due to the distance.
Certain dates are branded in our heads. I can’t remember my age half of the time, but I’ll remember the date he left forever. He’s going to miss our Halloween celebration, our family vacation, Thanksgiving and he’ll be gone for his birthday and that’s just the first semester. Clearly, this is still fresh, but every day there have been fewer tears shed so I’m getting better. Fortunately, I’m gifted with staying crazy busy so it helps keep me distracted. That doesn’t always prevent tears, but I’ve only cried at one class and was able to reel it in, thankfully. I’ve made a list of things that have helped me so far. It sounds ridiculous that I already have a list, but I think every mom (and dad) totally get it.
Find a Hobby or Learn Something New
This has been the best distraction for me. I’m new to the whole bucket list thing, and I’m loving the research involved with lists, both big and small. Working my way through my Fall Bucket List has been a blast, kept me busy and excited to experience new things. I’m a serious creature of habit, so this takes me out of my comfort zone, but I wish I had tried it sooner. Better late than never though.
So far, it’s been my dog. At first I thought it was that he was sad, but now I’m not so sure. He might be trying to cheer me up and that’s the reason he won’t leave my side when I’m home. He’s at my feet wherever I walk and knows nothing about personal space when I’m sitting down. It’s a good problem to have, really.
Take Time for Old Interests
I love reading, not fine literature, but true crime and anything fitness related. It’s another good distraction. I also love organizing. I’ve been accused of hoarding fitness journals, books and hats. I’m hoping to remedy that before my accuser (my college son) returns home for Christmas so I need to get through some books and clear them off the shelf.
Focus on the Positive
My sister laughed when I told her I was trying this, since my list is pretty pitiful. Our water bill and grocery bill will probably go down, I’ll have less laundry and won’t have someone borrowing my earbuds all the time. Those don’t get me that excited, but focusing on how proud I am of my guy being confident enough to test his wings, makes me pretty happy.
Plan for the Reunion
I know he’ll have friends that he’ll want to go see during Christmas vacation, but I’m making a list of holiday adventures. Star Wars is at the top. We might not be going as a family opening night, but we’ll be starting a new tradition. The countdown is on the calendar and it gives me something to look forward to. It’s going to be a busy holiday and I can’t wait to make some memories.
It hasn’t even been a month yet, so this whole thing is all still so new to me. Truthfully, I hate it, but I have accepted it. Give me a few more months and I might even embrace it. It’s a great opportunity for him and he’s excited for it- his mom just needs to get there too. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to keep myself uber-busy and continue my countdown. December can’t get here soon enough.