************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Hardest Part of Parenting

Leave at nine in the morning.
Drive 160 miles.
Sing together in the car.
Enjoy deep conversations about Physics and Hippies, Television and God.
Wait an hour in a line that barely moves to finally pull into the parking lot behind his dorm.
So many parents, so many kids.
Unload all his stuff.
Move the van to make room for the next one.
Walk three blocks back to his dorm, thinking,
He will walk here.
He will see this.
He will know this place and call it home.
Help him put together the futon and desk chair.
Help him figure out how to organize the many many things he has in the small space.
Sneak the letter under his pillow.
Wonder how he will do, sharing a room for the first time.
It's 3:30 already.
Take him to Walmart for the things he still needs.
Stop at a Friday's and eat.
Drive back to the dorm
Fewer cars in the lot
Empty boxes, parents crying and hugging and looking back over their shoulders...
Help him unload the newly bought items and carry them to his room.
Not a bad room... it's right at the top of only one flight of stairs.
Five p.m.
The awkward pause.
This is it.
The hug and kiss "I love you" and "Call me"
"I'll walk you out"
One more hug downstairs
Turn towards the van.
Look back.
Unlock the van
Now the hardest part...
Drive away and leave him there.

I should have brought tissues for the drive home. I never needed such things in the past...
This whole business of "feeling things" is not all fun and games.


  1. I moved my daughter to Chicago. I am crying still. That was last October.

    It is hard.

  2. You know what though the best thing about it is the feelings, that you are feeling them and yes they are painful and not always fun and games but they allow you to feel alive, to feel human to know what joy and mystery still lives in the world...and ultimately to know love...to love.

  3. dear shen~ i'm sorry you're going through this part of life right now that is so sad and tough.

    i agree with gm though too that i think it's a good sign this is so painful to you, because it shows how deeply you love your child. and for that, i think you're both so lucky.

    i drove myself to college, it was very lonely and sad. and my car broke down on the highway, which was terrifying on top of how sad i thought it was that i was going through that rite of passage on my own, while so many others have loving parents at their sides.

    like you :)

    i'm so glad you went with him. it sounds like a very healthy and meaningful experience. he'll always have that, and so will you.


  4. also shen, thought you might want to know i mentioned your blog in my last post :)


  5. I'm sorry Michael. It's hard, isn't it?

    GM, You are right, and for the first time I began to feel some of that on the drive home, yesterday. I began to notice the gratitude for what I had in my relationship with my son. He is amazing and I cherish all the memories and times to come.

    Yes, Katie... it is proof of how I can love. It's good to know. I do know people who seem to be incapable of that kind of love and it's good to realize I am not in that category, at all. If anything, it seems like I love too much...

    I'm sorry your going to college experience was not what you would have hoped for...

    I did not go away to college. My father said he woulde only pay my tuition if I lived "at home". The school I went to was close enough to commute. I could not afford to pay tuition and rent and all the other things I would need.

    Since he had stopped buying my clothes after I turned 16 (something he did only with me and not with my siblings, but now has no memory of) there were many things I needed (like a coat, boots, other clothing) so I took a year off between high school and college (during which time my father charged me rent) and worked full time to get the things I needed. I also worked two part time jobs all through college to make money for clothes, school supplies, books, etc.

    It took me five years to complete my degree... then I got married a couple weeks after graduation and finally moved out of my father's house at age 25.

    So... at least you experienced that time on your own... Could be worse.

  6. Just dropped my daughter off at college too. 1000 miles away from home. It is painful. Not only the feelings of missing her, but the feelings relating to aging and a entire stage of my life being over.

  7. Yes, Harriet... that is part of it too. I keep remembering entering this phase... the days my children were born. I keep thinking about all the years in between, too, when I knew who I was and what my responsibilities were.

    Floundering here at the end of the line is pretty normal, but that doesn't make it any easier. I imagine we will find our way... in time.


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Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.