Several of my friends are in the throes of sending their son or daughter away to college (and some are sending grandchildren). In emails, on FB, and in person they are expressing their angst and emotion. This brings back memories of sending my first child to college 600 miles from home. My husband and I were pleased and proud of the young man he had become, the choices he was making. But we asked ourselves, “How did we get to this point so soon?” “How will we adjust to the lack of his presence in our home daily?” (I remember the first time we drove the 600 miles to visit our son in college. I told my husband, “I can’t wait to see David.” He answered me, “Yes, and hear him and feel him.”)
To help me deal with the emotions of this “letting go” of my firstborn to be part of a college community and pursue his education, I did what I did the day I sent him to kindergarten. …
Again this time I wrote a poem (if you want to call it that):
FIRST HOME AWAY
Big college dormitory
Do you understand the story
Of our son who’s gone to stay
Down your hall so far away?
Will you give him tender care,
Help him when life deals unfair?
Do you know his special needs?
Will you see that he succeeds?
Keep him of his manners mindful?
Foster choices that are rightful?
Listen late into the night,
Till his headlights come in sight?
You may have a useful function
At this restless child-man junction.
Our advice has had its say;
Now he has to find his way.
He can call for sympathy;
Bring home friends and laundry.
You’ll be there to watch the flight test
Of this fledgling from the home nest.
We’ll pay and pray and intercede
Until he’s properly degreed;
We’ll watch as God unfolds his plan
For our big college man.
Our son has now earned three degrees, traveled the world, married, and is fathering three children himself. We’ve had more opportunities to “let go,” but what a joy to watch God’s plan unfold.
~ Catherine Lawton