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Please Don't Leave Me! When Your LAST Kid Goes to College

I knew it was coming.

May. His Graduation from High School.

Then August, when he moves to school.

I knew it was coming, and yet, I'm not prepared. I just did it less than a year ago with my firstborn. Shit, after that hurt, I figured this time would be more manageable, easier to swallow.

But it's not; it is worse because I know what's happening.

All the "unknowns" of your first kid graduating from High School and going to college is terrifying. But this. It's brutal. Knowing how it will feel to watch my youngest walk across the stage and receive his diploma, see his friends hugging and hollering, taking all kinds of pictures…I know, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. "You'll be fine, Jennifer, they say, or "Just think you can start a whole new life!"

Little do they know I'm seeing a therapist and upping my meds. I am trying to get my shit together. But even understanding what lies ahead doesn't make it less heartbreaking--let me give a silly example:

it's like standing in front of a door that reads, "FREEZING COLD ROOM." You are fully aware that you will most definitely freeze your tits off, but you have to go in anyway- because the only way out is through that "freezing cold room." You have to do it; you have no choice.

So, you enter that room, gladly. Even if you hate the cold.

But, this time, I will be ready! I'll bring a coat and bundle up; pray it's not "that cold," and I can handle it. Hell, I did it last time without a coat! And look, I survived. Barely. I did cry the entire flight home from Syracuse and for like three weeks after. But who's counting?

You got this, Momma.

But do I? The "cold" is alright. It's tolerable, but here's the difference. After I walk through that room, will I feel a different kind of sorrow? I mean, I will never walk through it again. Ya know? Never. I will be done with eighteen years of parenting, and my boys are adults. I've had all the "firsts," and now it's all about having the "lasts."

The last Spring Break trip, last prom, last graduation...the final Senior Walk through campus. At the last graduation party, loading up the car and unpacking the Freshman dorm room. The last Fresh-Fest at Cuse and my last child leaving my house.

Leaving my home, leaving me.

Their lives will be about new beginnings, fresh starts, and big ideas.

But what about me? What am I supposed to do without them? Cue music.

And yes, I would do it all again- give them MY everything. Fuck anyone who judges me for being "that mom." The one who showed up every day after school at carpool for eight years with a snack. And not just a snack- a good one. "That Mom" got up each morning to make breakfast even in High School when they could drive themselves. I loved it. I was the last to say goodbye each day and the first to say hello in the afternoon. They were my full-time job, and now I'm being "fired," so excuse me if I'm a Tad Martin upset about losing it. ;)

Maybe if I sit in that cold room long enough, I'll freeze like a popsicle, and no one will be able to leave? I kid. I will be okay, y'all. I'm sad, and I wanted to vent a bit. Maybe some other moms feel like me? Moms that would give anything to get one more year of "firsts" with their lasts. I'm starting a support group; call me. #emptynestmommas

xo j

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