What’s that word to explain when you’re simultaneously feeling thrilled for your kids’ opportunities but sad because they’re growing up and little bit worried because they’re your kids and that’s your job? Oh right, parenthood. I think the word I’m looking for might just be parenthood.
I feel funny calling the older two my “kids” sometimes—at 18 and 20, they’re young adults. But what else can I call them? My offspring? Too weirdly impersonal. My adults? Same. My grown kids? To me that feels like it implies that they are financial independent, or in their thirties, whichever comes first.
Anyway. They are going to college this weekend—one of them back for her the second half of her second year (she came home last March and has been home since), one for his first time.
The younger three kids are thrilled by all the things they plan on doing with their older siblings’ empty bedrooms once they're gone. While I will be enforcing some restrictions, I do understand--when my parents drove my older sister to college, I opted to stay home. By the time they returned, I had moved everything out of my shared bedroom and into hers.
Me? I’m experiencing all the mixed emotions that one does when sending her alleged adults to college five hours away from home during a worldly pandemic. If you know me at all, you know that means it's time for me to focus on all that I am grateful for in this scenario. I am so very thankful:
1. That they are going to the same school. Not only does this help us in a practical way, it just makes my heart happy.
4. That five hours is far but not too far. It’s driveable, which is extra great now since I’m still wary about airline travel.
5. That even though it's still going to be virtual learning, they’ll be around their peers and in a different space and city. They want this. They need this. I really am so happy for them to be spreading their wings, even though I'm going to miss them.