What does it feel like to be the parent of a college sophomore? It's SO much easier and way more relaxed than being the parent of a college freshman.
We dropped our charming CollegeMan in Boston this past weekend, Labor Day weekend actually, and wow, what a pleasure compared to last year. The emotional 'durm and strang' of the first year was absent, the nervousness (both student and parental) gone, the anxiety (also both student and parental) of being away from home, non-existent.
On Sunday, we had a lovely evening and dinner with him. Monday, we had a relaxed breakfast, took in a little bit of Boston and saw some sites together. Around noon, he picked up his keys and got checked-in while we went to the bookstore and to look for parental swag. (BTW: The bookstore was picked pretty clean, I'm guessing by freshman parents the week before. What was left…meh…we're sophomore parents, we don't need another shirt). We helped him move in, re-arrange furniture and hang pictures. After about an hour and a half, it was pretty clear it was time for us to go, not in a "Holy-crap-if-we-don't-get-the-hell-out-of-here-we-will-dissolve-into-tear-puddles-worthy-of-the-wicked-witch-of-the-west" way, but in a "Hey, I think it's time for us to go because, yeah, it's time for us to go" kind of a way. He walked to us back to our hotel, gave us big hugs on the sidewalk and confidently walked away. No tears, worry or fears.
I have say that it was one of the most satisfying moments in my career as a Mom. Ever. As far as parenting goes, it's clear that my faboo hubby and I did our jobs and did them well. Really, really well.
It is my opinion that the whole point of parenting is to guide/raise a person that can be confident, practical, compassionate and able to function in the real world, on their own. Yes, maybe with roommates, friends and significant others…but ultimately they need to be able to do stuff alone. To parent is to teach a child/young adult to become a fully formed, 360º person so they can move forward in their life, without us there. It's true, I miss my Sophomore-and-a-half. It's also true that the house feels larger and a little empty, I miss the sound of him rattling around, I miss him asking me to purchase epic amounts of chocolate milk, his sense of humor and his laugh…but this is how it should be and I wouldn't have it any other way. We'll see him in October.