Children, Mothering

Booking the Tickets

I know that Snowman is leaving for Land O’Lakes Arts Academy in a little more than a month, but I’ve been having trouble settling in to making the actual plans. I remember feeling this way before #1 Son left for college three years ago. During the month of August I became quite depressed. I anticipated a life change that would be sad and difficult. I knew my nest would not be empty, but I felt it might as well be! I did not want to live through the inevitable changes.

It was easy to avoid reality because college was a mere 3 hour or so car ride away.

I’m feeling the same way about Snowman, complaining on the inside about how this is happening too soon (for me, that is), worrying about whether he’s really ready to live away from home, and worrying particularly about the great distance and the expense of travel.

Oh, that.

Clearly, the time is growing short for booking plane tickets.

I’ve been avoiding it. It’s complicated. We need to fly together but return separately. (I hate that part.)

I’m trying to remind myself that once #1 Son got to college and  settled in, and once we had a chance to adjust to being a family of four most of the time, everyone did beautifully. I’m trying to remind myself that Snowman is going in order to be challenged both musically and academically. I’m trying to remind myself that this was his idea in the first place, and that not everyone who wants to go there is good enough to be accepted, and that he is a sensible young person who will figure out whatever it is he needs to know, given time.

But I am his mother. I worry that he won’t like the food. I worry that he won’t get enough sleep. I worry that he will feel homesick.

I worry.

Somehow booking the tickets makes it real.

Anyway, this morning I did it. We leave September 5th, and I come back alone on the 9th.  I will have three days on campus to get to know the place and perhaps the area, too. I was hoping to stay long enough to attend one of the UCC church services in the area on Sunday morning, but the choice was a 7 a.m. flight or doubling the price of the ticket. We can’t have everything.

Does anyone ever tell a new mother that letting go someday will be the hardest part? Maybe it was in one of those boxes where you check a little square confirming you have read the fine print, even if you haven’t.

16 thoughts on “Booking the Tickets”

  1. I was never a clingy type mother–I sent my kids off to camp or their grandparents’ for a week or two, easily, didn’t worry too much while they were gone, etc. So it was a total surprise to me how hard it was to send LD#1 off to college. And each subsequent leave taking has been wrenching in its own way.
    For me part of it is sending them off alone, part of it is missing them horribly, and part of it is the way it marks the end of an era. Because no matter how often they return, it won’t be the same. That is a good and expected thing, but it is bittersweet, you know?
    Hugs and prayers for this transition, Songbird.

  2. 2 suggestions.
    1) Chances are the other big problem will be that you will not want to LEAVE. You’ll be trying to sign up as a student yourself!
    2) Book another flight. Now. Make a reservation to go visit him/see a concert now. It will be much easier to leave him if you know when you’ll see him next.

  3. I understand. I’m praying for all of you. Distance makes it that much harder. Yet, think of the wonderful family gatherings you’ll have when you come back together as a unit once again. 🙂

  4. I’m the one that caused freak floods at Heathrow when Hattie Gandhi went off on her travels…so, yes, I know hugely how you feel…and I hate it too.
    Big big hugs, my friend. It does hurt, doesn’t it.

  5. It’s so hard when they go off to have their own adventures and lives, especially after years of being so connected to them.

  6. I hope the food is better than when I went there.
    You, and he, will love it. It’s a wonderful place with great atmosphere. Though I laughed out loud when you were talking about things “in the area” since my recollection (10 years old now) is that there was nothing in the area…possibly because we weren’t allowed to leave the campus. LOL!
    many hugs and prayers in this transition time…

  7. Gosh, Teri, I hope so, too, since the boy is already a little underweight.
    I am hoping to take a ride and see Lake Michigan at some point. Or if he gets tired of me, are there any bloggers in the general area? I’m a great one for the meet-ups!

  8. I was a counselor there, so I was allowed to leave! It’s a nice little area….not so much the tiny town where the camp/academy is, but the larger town where you fly into has a cute downtown shopping area, and a couple great restaurants.
    And there are a couple bloggers in central Michigan–a couple hours away (3). I hope they come forward!

  9. Does anyone ever tell a new mother that letting go someday will be the hardest part? Maybe it was in one of those boxes where you check a little square confirming you have read the fine print, even if you haven’t.
    Holding your hand across the miles …

  10. It’s that looking ahead to letting go part that brings tears to my eyes. Of course mine is only 2, but knowing that it will happen twinges.

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