Getting good at saying college goodbyes

The inevitable happened.

Several weeks ago, we dropped our middle child, our oldest son, off at college. He’s starting his freshman year and he couldn’t wait to start. As soon as the car was unloaded, he was ready for us to say “goodbye.” And then this past weekend, we loaded up the SUV and drove our oldest child, our daughter, to Washington, D.C. where she’s taking two evening classes and working as an intern.

In the end, it was worse and in some other ways, easier than we thought it would be. I’ve written in the past about the challenge of saying goodbye to our kids. You get used to having your kids in your life and hearing everything about their day and then one day you drop them off and you watch them get smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror. Oh, that’s life, that’s the way it’s supposed to be, we’re adults, we know that, but it can be still be a challenge.


See you soon

In any event, we still have a long ways to go, but we’re definitely getting better at this game. We’re certainly more more prepared for what to expect. Here’s what I mean: our son had been away for much of the summer, so when we dropped him off for Fall Semester, we were prepared for the quiet drive home. We knew it would be best to drop him off and start moving on with our own lives. We even planned a special meal that we would have never planned if he was still home.

The same for when we dropped off our daughter. With the two of them at school and our youngest son busy with his own things, we’re taking  advantage of the opportunity to plan a romantic weekend trip. Hello empty nest!


While we’re sad to see our kids leave, we refuse to hold them back. They have incredible experiences in front of them. I want them to experience all that life has to offer. Southeastern Pennsylvania, including the city of Philadelphia, has a lot to offer. However, our kids are not going to get to experience everything they want to by sticking around in our little community. They need to make their own life.

The long drive home:

The long trip back to college

What it feels like when your child goes off to college

Leaving something for my son

The challenges of move-in day

Moving on

Where’s that leave us? We naturally miss them. Our youngest son misses his big sister and big brother. I miss the three of them getting into heated debates over a million things everything from the best way to solve poverty in the America, whatever they’re learning in class, to the newest music on their headphones. I love their passion, even when their liberal and conservative viewpoints feel like they’re going to come to blows, but like I wrote in my previous blog, they’re exactly where they need to be.


I miss too the way they challenge us with new thoughts and ideas, but, at the end of the day, I love seeing them grow and wouldn’t want it any other way.

So, off they go again.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we have frequent trips planned to visit them over the next four months. “Hello, ready or not, mom and dad are coming to visit!”

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