Girls Write Out
Monday, August 22, 2011

Friday we left our oldest son at college. I have to say, nothing in life prepares you to take your child 4 1/2 hours away, unpack his belongings, and drive away.

I expected the on-and-off tears and the flashbacks of his younger years. What I didn't expect was the overarching feeling of loss, almost a feeling of depression--punctuated by freak outs about what I may have forgotten to teach him in our 19 years together.

I keep telling myself it's not too late. He's only a text away if I remember that I never told him about ATM fees or separating darks and lights or the use of colons verses semi-colons verses. (Hey, he's a journalism major.)

This letting go thing isn't easy, but the best piece of advice I received came from my dad. (See? After all these years, he's still helping ME through the tough stuff. This is comforting.)

He pointed out that when you take a flight and keep your luggage with you, that bag is your responsibility. If someone steals it while you're sleeping in your uncomfortable chair at the gate, or if or you leave it at the Cinnabon stand, the airline is not responsible for its loss. However, if you check your bag, it's in their hands, their safekeeping (such as it is). They're responsible for its recovery.

As I think of my son so far away, I'll try to remember that I've already checked him with God. Unlike the airlines, He'll never misplace Justin, and He sure won't charge an extra fee for keeping him in His care.

Is there a piece of luggage you need to check?

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Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:21 AM  
  Comments (13)
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At 10:25 AM, Blogger Anne Mateer said...

I also dropped my son at college this weekend, so I feel your pain. But while I've walked through this letting go once already (he's my 2nd child), it feels different with each child, so I love your dad's analogy!

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Prayers going up for you, Anne!

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Rockin' Ruby said...

My sister had made a mistake a few years ago and we (my parents, younger sister and I) took her baby girl under our care as well as my sister. my sister was a bit depressive at the time and my niece was born without a father present, so my little sis and i tried to make up for it. Marlen became a second mother to Beth and i a very attached aunt, about a year ago my sister decided to make a life with beth's father and my sister and i took it very hard. Beth (who is about to be 2 in a few months) sleeps over often but every time we have to take her back, she takes a small part of us with her. We can only trust in God for her complete care.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Jackie S. said...

Been there, is very hard. Love your post and your Dad's words....saving this for my daughter 'cause she will face this in a year with her son!! Be aware...those "feelings" will ambush you so I'm praying for you!

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Cyndi said...

Feelin' yous pain! My youngest is 20 and left home 2 years ago to travel with a ministry. She's returning for her 3rd year and is right where she should be. It DOES get easier. :)

Love your dad's analogy! Definitely works for both of my "kids".

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Cyndi said...

Oops! Hit send too soon. lol That should say "feelin' YOUR pain". That's what I get for writing without my glasses!

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Oh, how fun and how sad! Denise, you have a college age son! You are such a young, beautiful mom!


At 12:47 AM, Blogger Jennifer Mykytiuk said...

This makes me cry and my daughter is only 15 MONTHS old! I can't IMAGINE dropping her off for Kindergarten let along college! Oh heart break! I mean I cry dropping her off at the sitters while I work!

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

What a wise man! I sure wish I had your dad's analogy when I left my only-born at his college dorm for the first time. We home-schooled from 6th grade through high school so, other than work, my son had been home with me all the time. The separation anxiety on my part was ENORMOUS! I made the mistake of calling my son several times a week during that first semester, often wasting our time by crying. I was better the second semester but not by much. It's a wonder now that the man still loves me and calls to talk every so often!

Thanks for sharing your motherly pain. It's something all moms go through at one time or another and your dad's advice is priceless. I am going to call my DIL today and give her that analogy...her first-born starts kindergarten next week and she will need it.

You...and all moms with children starting new adventures this fall...are in my prayers.

At 9:47 AM, OpenID Alecia said...

I have been down this road... twice!! My first daughter just completed her college education and my second daughter is just beginning. Yesterday was her first day of classes and I texted her about a dozen times with... "Did you do this?" or "Did you do that?" You're right, it is extremely hard to let go and trust that you have raised them right and educated them properly on life. This post really helped me... I need to learn to let go and let God handle it.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger jel said...

can't say I know how ya would feel,

there this song that I think of that might help, ( I might have told ya this before) but it fits here,
when your kids were little,and ya put them to bed at night you would cover them with a blanket, but now they are on their own now, and now you can't, but you can cover them with your prayers! it's a cool song.

oh does any one know how Diann is doing?

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Enigmama said...

I think this is the hardest part about being a missionary. We took our 3rd (youngest) son to the US and dropped him off last October. People say the world has gotten so small that missionaries don't suffer anymore because they can get almost everything on the field that is available in the US - or something similar. The hard things for a missionary have never been about not being able to get peanut butter but rather about being so far from family - especially if a crisis comes up and there is no way for you to get there.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger jel said...

I hope the reason for this cone of silent. is cause y'all are busy and nothing else! :)

do hope all is well!



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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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