Saturday, September 10, 2011


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:


Donna B said...

...something I get to look forward to in just a couple years. How time flies!
We definitely have to give our trust over to God to watch over and guide them.

Jessica Nelson said...

I have three sons. I can't imagine them going to college yet but hope when they do, I'll be as graceful about it as you.

Teresa Slack said...

My son got married last night so I guess that's the last cut from the maternal apron strings. I know what you mean, Suzanne. I'm so happy for him and his new bride, but i can't stop thinking about the little boy I used to hold in my arms. I need to change the subject or I'm going to start crying again. See you in St. Louie.

Suzanne said...

Yes, time has certainly flown by. All too soon it will be time to do the same with our second son. I'm not so sure I'll be as graceful about it with this child. But God is good, and I know He'll lead us to the right college and the right timing for letting go.

Suzanne said...

I don't think I will be able to hold back from crying when my children get married, Teresa. I've only half-jokingly told my husband that I will need six months of scrapbooking therapy after our youngest graduates. I think I'd need at least a year of scrapbooking therapy for a wedding. LOL