Sunday, August 24, 2014

Insight - Back to School - By Michelle Libby

I always loved back to school time. New pencils and pens, new teachers and new classmates, I love starting new things. By October, the work started to feel like work and the newness had worn off, but this is about the excitement of the new school year. 
This year I’m excited. Nervous, but excited. My daughter is heading to The University of Maine at Presque Isle to major in criminal justice. She’s going to start something brand new, can reinvent herself, make new friends and have awesome experiences. 

Back to school shopping involves a trashcan and bed risers, not only pencils and calculators. Sheets had to be purchased, flannel sheets for where she is going. I had no idea where to start with what to get for her and she was still working while I was shopping for her. 

I’m trying to cram everything I can into the final few days before she is out of the nest. We had that awkward talk about boys (college edition). I told her about me doing pushups on sacred pushup ground in the center of the Cornell University campus at midnight my first week of college. I know she will learn a lot with her first experience away from home and I can’t wait to hear all about it. 

For as excited as I am, I think there needs to be a support group for parents of college freshmen. A place where we can all commiserate about our children not calling us back or even texting that “Yes, I’m alive.” It would be a place where we are excited that they are spreading their wings, but we want them to invite us to their college games, concerts, events once in a while. (Just in case you don’t get to the meetings, I bribed mine with homemade cookies so I’d know when and where the games are.)

Sending your children to school, be it college or kindergarten, is traumatic. You may be happy that you have three or more hours to breathe, but you’ll miss the sounds of them running through the house. 

One thing I did learn after sending my kiddos off to school, was that when they came home they wanted to sit and tell me what they did during the day. They had new stories that didn’t involve me, but they wanted to still include me. And, as much as they love their teachers, bus drivers and lunch ladies, you and I will always be the mom and that trumps everything. 

            -Michelle Libby

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