Friday, January 6, 2012

Letting go

by Wendy Joy
My son is going abroad in seven days.  He will be studying in Italy. 
 For the last six months I have been asked from numerous people when and if he is going and of course where?  The joy and excitement in the other parents voices is over the top and I answer in an equally excited voice.  In moments I am given advice on great hotels, restaurants, museums, name it.  "Are you visiting once or twice?"...."we went twice and stayed at the ------- it's in the middle of town near all of the shops and the shopping there is incredible."  "You have to go to the --------store and buy these specially made leather will flip." 
  I want to stand up and say to these incredibly well intentioned people that I AM flipping.  I am flipping because my son is leaving for four months.  I know he is not going off to war and I am not at all worried about his safety....He is strong, smart and capable.  I am going to miss his guts! 
 When I think of getting on that plane in March and visiting him, all I can think about is holding his face and hugging him until he pulls me away.  All I can think about is staying quiet so I can listen to all of his stories and situations before I have to get on a plane again and leave him for another month and a half.  All I can think about is why can't a semester abroad be three months long?  Why four? 
 Don't get me wrong.....I'm happy my son is going and I know this will be an experience of  a lifetime.  I listen to him with any concerns he may have but then I reassure him of the adventure that is right in front of him.  He will be visiting different cities every weekend with two of his friends, going to see other friends that are also abroad. He is very excited to go and I am very excited for him. 
  But there is a part of me...the part that never rushes time....the part that enjoys each and every moment....that is excited for May.  


  1. When my kids left for college i wondered why there are no "support" groups for empty nest syndrome. I know exactly how Wendy Joy feels. It is our job as mothers to let them go;leave the nest. It isn't easy b/c we have spent so much time with them. When they are truly on their own it feels like a loss of sorts. I speak to my 28 year old son frequently. He has a great life.We still have that special bond. I did a good job. I am no longer the most important person in his life. I miss him but how sad would it be if he were still home and not enjoying his young adulthood? We, mothers, and women just have to keep reinventing ourselves!

  2. Thank you so much for your support Ann S. My son is leaving tomorrow and I am busy packing his bags right now with a very heavy heart. Everything you said is true. Our children are able to grow and move on because of all the time we have spent with them...because we did a good job! But the everyday routines, connections, hugs, jumping on a bed to watch a show, conversations no matter how long or short about their day or a friend, will never be the same. The everydayness changes. I got used to this when my oldest son went off to college (same son that is leaving youngest leaves in the fall) and now I know I have to get used to this...four months abroad. But when I wake up on Monday morning I will do as you said and start to reinvent myself again....and wait for the phone call that says "Mom I can't talk right now....all is great". Wendy Joy

  3. I like following this blog especially when I so relate to what is posted here. I am glad my comment helped if only a little. I figure, if I am lucky someday those 2 kids will give me grandchildren and then I can "start all over again". That is one reason good girlfriends are so important to me. Look around. What are women in their 70s and 80s doing (a decade + for me); they are hanging out with their friends b/c so many of them have become single for one reason or another. Thanks for responding and thanks to Elyse for posting a very interesting & common problem.


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