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The Band-Aid Has Been Ripped

After a summer of planning and preparing, we dropped our daughter Lauren off at Skidmore College to start her freshman year.

In reality it hasn’t just been three months of planning but in fact 18 years.

18 years of comforting and teaching,

tending cuts and bruises of knees and hearts,

18 years of laughing and crying,

of worrying and consoling.

18 years of watching a tiny baby turn into a young woman with talents I could only dream of having.

It has made the passing of time more obvious. I can now see clearly a time when none of our children are at home with my husband and me, sharing in our daily routines.

Post drop off I spent time fielding phone calls and texts from friends and family asking how I was holding up. A severe bout of homesickness on Lauren’s end meant I was holding strong. I needed to be the anchor, the support. Isn’t that what we mothers do?

Like an oak tree I coached her through her homesickness.

Change is tough. Change is nature’s way of making sure that we are still growing. A new job, a move across country, a loss of a loved one, a child going off to college – the only guarantee is that life will change.

It’s how we weather those changes and come out on the other side that prepares us for the next change coming around the bend.

I tell her:

Ride the waves of emotions but don’t get carried away with them. Cutting off our emotions keeps it in your body as stress which we all know can grow into sickness and disease. Feel the emotion but know it will pass, relax into it and release it.

Our minds and our bodies resist change.

There’s comfort in the familiar but with pain comes growth. We come out stronger, knowing more about ourselves than we did before.

Stay present.

Much of the worry and anxiety comes from projecting the future, a future that seems full of catastrophes. Focus on what needs to be done right now.

Stay open to possibilities.

Quantum physics has taught us that an infinite number of possibilities exist simultaneously. The possibility exists that there will be love, happiness, fun, contentment – whatever it is that you desire – you just need to be open to it. Be open to the possibility that doors will open, things will settle, opportunities will arise, the pain will subside.

It’s now Thursday, 11 days after drop off. Phone calls home to mom are fewer and fewer these past few days. There are no more tears of homesickness.

As I set the dinner table for four I recall my own advice.

I breathe and ride the wave of missing her that overcomes me.

I set the last plate down carefully.

I think about my role of mother changing and I open myself to all the possibilities, knowing I have done my job well.

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