We Are Here If You Need Us (ms)

It’s a scene that’s been playing out across the country. You know the one, the kid fresh from high school leaves home to start life at college, the parents waving good bye from the front porch or, if the school is close enough, dropping the kid off with more than a few reminders of home. It’s common enough and it’s rather sad.

I think as parents we never expect the day to arrive. It’s hard to look at a squirming little baby, a toddler, a first-grader or a high school freshman as anything more than our child. Our child will always be with us here, in this house, nice and safe. Deep down we know that won’t happen. We know deep down that there will come a time when our child walks out the door taking the first steps toward maturity.

There are friends of mine who face that moment even now. One of them has a student six hours away, the other three or so. No matter the exact time, it’s far enough to rule out a weekly commute. Their families wished the kids well and sent them off as they knew they would from the moment the child was born.

It is hard to separate yourself from your kids and I guess most of us really don’t. We have too many sleepless nights, runny noses, broken hearts, senior proms and graduations under our collective belts to do that. We have an investment in them, by golly, and like any good money manager we want to see our investment safe and unthreatened by outside forces that can liquidate it in a heartbeat.

We go through eighteen or so years of their lives in that role, fiercely protecting that which is ours, guarding it from harm, watching over our investment while adding judiciously but at the end of that time they no longer really belong to us. We must cut them loose but that snip of the scissors is a terrifying sound, about as bad as a car door slamming outside on a night when you know your kid hasn’t come home and that door, could it be someone bringing terrible news? It is a terrifying thing to do and at the same time very sad. Knowing it had to happen doesn’t make it easier.

So, these last few days of summer, folks are packing up their kids and shipping them off to the schools of their choice. New doors will open for them, new things will be learned, new friends made and memories to match them all will be recorded as well.

Those of us left behind will sit and ponder the empty nest we are left with and then slowly begin to move along with our new lives taking care of business as we go, secure in the knowledge that so far as our children are concerned we have done what we can, they are on their own.

Not to worry, really, they’ll call. They always do.

–Mike Stevens


~ by admin on August 25, 2011.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: