I left my oldest son in Atlanta on August 9th. He is attending Morehouse College.
When he was accepted and we decided that is where he would go, I encountered so many people whose reaction to my news began with congratulations followed by I know you are going to miss him because he is so far away. I would and still respond with complete joy followed by I may miss him; yet I am glad he is going. That still holds true today. However the difference in the missing is not one of regret or fear, it is one that is similar to one missing their favorite ice cream. It is good to have, I love it when it is there yet I can go on without it if I have do.
I have to go on without him for many reasons. The first two are my other children who have yet to graduate from high school and the third is because in order to be completely there for him and them, I have to be whole. Today I look forward to hearing his voice. We have decided to chat once a week on Sunday evenings. There is a 3 hour time difference, so I try to chat with him when has done all of the "chillin' " on campus and then he can focus on talking to his mother without distraction.
As I speak to him he is still my little boy. However the bass in his voice snaps me back into reality because he is not a boy, he is growing into a man.
The professors at Morehouse College were amazing for New Student Orientation week. They each in their own style said that they have mastered the science of changing boys into men. They continued by telling us parents with emphasis on the moms, that if you let us raise them we can do it. There is no need for the moms influence in teaching. The moms job is to nurture without nagging. The principal is to listen and when needed step in for guidance not for telling them what they can or cannot do. As the one who is paying the bills, the freshman mom and dad can feel that if they are paying then they should have access. In all other walks of life that principal holds true; however not on college and not quite frankly in the medical profession. When your child reaches a certain age, the parent can no longer have access to medical records or be present in the doctor's room when the physical is being performed. That is understandable'; however now that I am the mom, I kinda' don't think that in all instances the ability to examine our children by themselves is well a little unnerving.
That being said, the child whose parent has sacrificed to get them into college also has no access to the child's class grades. Once in college and over the age of 18 our children control our access. To deter that from happening in my case, my son and I have developed a communication style and expectations that we both agree on.
As he speaks to me about the classes, the night life, the cafeteria and other new things that he is experiences, I am impressed with his conversations and with who he is becoming. This school is perfect for him and for me. I rest at night because I know that he is in the place where he wants to be for his college career. Things are going to get tough and times may get hard however what I know and he knows is that in time, this too shall past. King's Chapel is in the middle of the campus and the boys can make a choice as to whether or not they will attend service
Going away to college is what I think all college children should do. Living away and having to make your own decisions is by far the best experience for how to be grow. We shall see.