I spent Monday at college orientation for our 4th child. In just a few weeks he heads off to live in the dorms and try out life on his own. I spent much of the day determinedly blocking out glum thoughts over the inevitable change coming. It’s not here yet– I’ll deal with it when it comes. ‘Sufficient to the day’ and all that…
These days at college orientations, they pry you away from your kid quite early, sending parents to one room and kids to another for various
orientation indoctrination sessions. Since I’ve been here before, the information wasn’t exactly ground-breaking so in the afternoon I took a break from my ‘parent sessions’ and zipped over to my daughter‘s house to sneak in some grandbaby cuddling. Ah, delight.
At one point I was watching him nap on his momma, and realized she and I are at opposite ends of this journey. She’s just beginning the job of raising her little guy to be a man, and I’m at the end of the active phase of parenting my Daniel. Undoubtedly he’ll be checking in with me often, especially in the early months of adjusting to college life. But his life is now his own.
The early months and years with little ones go so slowly in so many ways, especially when you’re trying to remember the last time you got a decent night’s sleep. But oh, so soon the little guy sleeping on your chest, and crying when you attempt
five two minutes alone in the bathroom, becomes a tall young man with a dorm room and a calculus professor, a grownup who can go days without even needing to speak to you.
It’s good and right and the way things should be. He’s ready and he’s going to do well. But the twinges I feel now make me incredibly grateful I’ve always been an attachment-parenting momma, the kind who carried my babies everywhere and nursed them whenever they peeped and slept with them til they were two. (OK, I confess, our last one was four.)
Sure, having a baby napping on your chest instead of sleeping ‘properly’ in the crib means you get less done when they’re babies. But oh, babyhood! It is precious and goes by in the blink of an eye. Really.