The Second cut is the deepest! Those of us moms who have delivered babies have all been through it. We HAD to cut the umbilical cord after our babies left our bodies. In our family, we waited to cut the cord until all of the nutrient-filled blood had pumped into our baby and we used a piece of glass to cut the cord (an Indian custom signifying not severing the bond between mother and child with metal). The moment the cord was cut, I felt no pain, no disconnection, no sadness. I felt joy that our newborn was on their own and able to survive in the world without my body, without me. THAT was the first cut!
Fast forward 18 years. College Drop-off #1. Leaving our first daughter, Lauren, at college was not a pretty scene. Ron “the rock” was fine, of course and so happy for her. All of the women in our family were in tears(one of us was still crying on the flight home). Lauren, at first, was not happy to be there and it showed. At one point during that flight home, Ron leaned over to the one person still crying and asked me if I was OK. From behind my sunglasses, I looked at him and said, “I feel as though THE cord has been cut.” Dramatic? Yes. But that’s what it felt like.
Drop-off #2 with our second daughter, Morgan was easy. Our oldest and youngest say it’s because I don’t like her as much. LOL. Truth be told, Morgan was so happy, excited to be where she was, I felt no sadness. There were no tears(lots of hugging though). I was so thrilled for her to begin her new adventure.
Drop-off #3 in Billings, Montana found Sydney and I vacillating between crying and laughing. There were tears, several long hugs followed by laughter and some reassuring words. Driving away from her dorm back to the hotel, I found a silver lining. This is THE last freshman drop-off!
At last count, I’ve done 13 dorm/apartment/house move-ins including decorating with #14 scheduled in the bay area this October. Okay, those are my credentials!
Here’s my advice for parents leaving their kids at college:
#1) Teach your kids how to balance a check book, do laundry and trust their instincts.
#2) Let them go. They all have wings and dreams. You’ve given them Love and Life. Watch them Soar!
#3) Tell them the truth always. If you don’t, you’re not protecting them, you’re simply not trusting them.
#4) “Nothing good ever happens after midnight, especially when alcohol is involved!” was a motto I used frequently.
Oh, one more thing. There is a very good chance your college graduate will be back living in your house at some point so keep that in mind when you’re hugging them goodbye!! Have Fun!