You would think that the more you do something, the easier it becomes. This is never the case when it comes to seeing your children head off to college or university for the first time.
Nerve-wracking. Tense. Heart-tugging. Celebratory. These are but a few emotional planes parents and their children went through this past weekend. There were Guelph parents saying bye-bye to their kids as they went to school elsewhere. Conversely, there were parents from elsewhere dropping their kids off in Guelph and also bidding teary good-byes.
Wherever or whoever, emotions were pretty much the same for parents and children alike – emotional.
Between our two households we have seen many birdies leave their Guelph nests for out-of-town schooling. A milestone last week was seeing the baby of our bunch launch into her first year at Dalhousie.
Bidding not goodbye, but à bientôt – as in see you soon – there were hugs and kisses and dewy eyes. To think, I didn’t even make the trip to Halifax. My see-you-soon was in Guelph. Glad I wasn’t there with her Mum and sister when the real disengagement was happening. As mentioned, we have done it many times and it’s never easy.
Going off to college or university is a milestone in so many ways both for our children and ourselves. For the child, heading off to university signals they, in effect, are grown up. While they will always have their parents’ backing, they are by their lonesome in an unfamiliar place among unfamiliar faces. It’s both scary and exciting. Anyone who has gone and lived in residence enthuses about it being the experience of a lifetime. It may be, but during these early days it sure doesn’t feel like it.
It’s hard for parents, too. Seeing our younguns launched into lives of their own is bittersweet. While proud of their accomplishments, they are our babies no more. This passage of time has a bit of a sting to it.
I write of the youngest bird taking flight for post-secondary education. Today, on this first day of school, young parents are experiencing similar mixed emotions as their little ones go off to school for the first time. Be warned, young parents, before you know it they will be heading off to college or university.
Whether it’s your first child leaving home, or your last, it tugs at the heartstrings every time. And, unfortunately, the more you do it, it doesn’t become any easier.