Todays post is by guest blogger Suzanne Hartman
Last month my husband and I moved our oldest son into a dorm at Missouri Baptist University. I expected all of the motherly emotions that go with sending a child off and prepared to stifle them until I was alone so I wouldn’t embarrass Andrew. What I didn’t expect was the blast from the past the move-in brought.
The moment we walked into the lobby, the similarities hit me. It may be thirty years later and a small, private school instead of a large, state university, but it still had the same feel. The couches screamed “college décor,” and the rows of keyed mailboxes cued a string of memories about mail from friends and family and the occasional, extra-special package.
While eerie familiarity filled me, I also remembered the anxiety that accompanied the excitement. I understood that apprehension crept around the edges of my son’s thoughts even though he didn’t allow it to show. We all knew he would do fine, but life with roommates instead of a family would be different.
The nostalgia quickly morphed from the good memories into a mental slide-show of the many things I didn’t share with my parents. Not that I was a bad kid or got into trouble, but I participated in some things I knew my parents wouldn’t approve. And many times there simply weren’t enough words or time to share everything I experienced.
So my thoughts circled back to my worries and concerns—this time fueled by the flashbacks to my own college years. I know my son. He’s a good kid and becoming a godly young man. I need to trust him, and trust God to watch over him and guide him, just like my parents did with me so many years ago.
An oddness filled me as I experienced the emotions of multiple generations: a youth moving into the next stage of life, a mother letting a child go, and a grown child wondering how my own mother felt when she left me at my dorm for the first time. The circle of life came around a full turn.
I noticed that your posts usually have pictures, so here is a picture from the move-in if you’d like to use it: