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Accepting Change

by Beth on July 31st, 2015

Prom7Our son leaves tomorrow, off to Georgia Tech to start his freshman year of college. I’m having a much harder time with this than I imagined I would. There were many times when I thought this moment would never arrive. Now it has and I realize just how much I’m going to miss him.

What a bittersweet moment. I am happy, proud, and excited. This is a wonderful time in Alex’s life. I remember what a fantastic experience going off to college was for me. But I am also feeling an overwhelming amount of sadness.

A few weeks ago our daughter looked at our dog and said, “Wow, he has no idea what’s about to happen. We are all preparing ourselves for Alex being gone and the poor dog has no idea.” She’s right, but then I don’t think there is any way to prepare myself to walk past Alex’s empty room or face his empty chair at the dinner table. It’s going to be so hard!

And yet this is what we have been preparing him for since he was born. I’m not worried about Alex being on his own. We have done our job; we’ve given him roots and wings. I know he is ready. I’m the one who isn’t ready. Who was supposed to prepare me?

Change is hard. But fighting it makes it even harder. Suffering comes from not accepting change. How we respond to change makes all the difference. Change can be good. It can bring about new opportunities. It will be hard at first, but it will get easier.

One of the best strategies for dealing with change is to seek out social support. My sweet husband knows how hard tomorrow is going to be for us both. He has planned a day full of fun activities to keep us occupied. My friends have promised to take me out for a glass of wine when I call.

Alex, I am so very happy for you! This is your moment! I know you are going to shine! And don’t worry about me, I will be just fine.

  1. Sam Maddeb permalink

    My best advise still stands…keep busy…try NEW things (Golf).. don’t go into his room and FaceTime when the above doesn’t work!! Love u Beth.

  2. Suzy Howell permalink

    Indeed, change is hard, and embracing it is even harder, but embrace it we must if we are to move forward. We live ‘in between’ and so it goes.
    He will love being a Ramblin’ Wreck, and you guys will love that he does.

  3. Beth permalink

    Thanks, Suzy!

  4. Beth permalink

    Thanks, Sam!

  5. mary paz ramos alonso permalink

    Me alegro mucho, Beth, por Alex. Se que conseguira sus metas. Se que es un momento duro para ti y para Angel. Pero los hijos Dios nos los da. Son como todo en la vida, prestados. Debemos criarlos, educarlos y hacerlos personas de bien. Luego, han de volar. No por eso van a dejar de quereros. Al contrario, mas aun. Gracias por darme fuerzas. Te sigo, te leo y tus consejos me han sido muy utiles. Muchisimos besos

  6. lovey permalink

    What wonderfully honest emotions to share. To this day, the hardest day was watching my daughter walk away from the car into her freshman dorm. That walk launched us both into another life phase. AND they keep speeding up. Best to you and Alex!

  7. Lisa Daniel permalink

    Beth!.. I went for a run while Katelyn was packing her belongings – and suddenly at Mile 1 I broke down and sobbed! Like, the heaving kind – can’t catch your breath kind!… I returned to the house and Katelyn thought I had been mugged! I definitely know how you are feeling.. You have raised him for this moment. Just remember all the fun we had and what he can look forward to!! HUGS for all of you!!!!

  8. Beth permalink

    Thank you, Lovey!

  9. Beth permalink

    Thanks, Lisa! It is hard, isn’t it? Remembering how much fun we had helps!

  10. David Roe permalink

    Beth – I very thoughtful note. Alex will do great. As a parent that sent his youngest off to college just last August, I feel your pain. You and Ángel and you have done a great job raising two wonderful children. I think you will find that he will be speaking with mom and dad quite a bit once he is settled at his new home away from home. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Three years ago when went off college, it was emotionally tough for me and my husband. After a while we got accustomed to his departure and the emotional roller coaster leveled off. We thought when it is time for the younger to leave, the prior experience would make us ready, at least emotionally. Needlessly to say, it is even harder. The thought of an “empty nest” makes it the more tough to deal with his departure. There have been days when I had selfishly wished the moment of his impending departure never arrived. But wishes cannot hold back the rolling days, with less than two weeks left now. There will be two empty chairs: one for Owura and one for Baffour. The good thing is they have been prepared for the fun and challenges of being independent.

  12. Beth permalink

    Thank you, David!

  13. Beth permalink

    Maame, we have a daughter who will be a junior in high school this year. We are very happy she is still home, but we are already thinking about how hard it will be when our nest is empty. My best to you! ~ Beth

  14. Lisa Mariam permalink

    I read this during a lull in the conversation as we drive our son to his freshman move in. This is the epitome of a bittersweet moment and it’s reassuring to hear common themes from friends and colleagues that we all survive the sadness and move on to a new phase in our relationships with our children. I’m focusing on the positive – look forward to hearing about his new adventures and plan for parent/family weekend.

  15. Beth permalink

    Thanks, Lisa! And best of luck adjusting to your new normal!

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