You survived prom.
You applauded and cried through graduation.
You sat through freshman orientation, but now it’s Move-in Day!
If you have a friend or family member who is gearing up to send their child off to school I want to share this story with you in the hopes you will stop and look around and ask yourself who can you support?
For me, the date was three years ago. It was on my calendar: the day; I would pack my oldest son Jacob up for college, drive him to UMD, and then drive home without the boxes, with my car packed to the gills – alone, without my son.
But, what I did not consider was this: how would I feel during the drive home? I was so busy preparing Jacob for his move that it truly never entered my mind, maybe I should take a friend. The whole reason, I am sharing this story is that maybe you know someone who can use a friend like I have – Pam!
Pam thought of me, long before I thought about me. Pam called me and asked if anyone was going with me to drop Jacob off at college? I said, “no.” I didn’t even think about it. As a single mother for most of my life, it never entered my mind to take someone, or ask someone to go along for the ride. Pam was so loving and kind. In her mind, I should go with someone, and she wanted to be that someone.
I remember it like it was yesterday: she came with me, helped us unload the car, and, more importantly, she was by my side as I hugged and kissed Jacob and wished him well on his new journey.
Pam was wise; she knew that would not be easy.
There is something about kissing your children good-bye at college that seems like it’s the last time you’ll ever do it. It’s not. We all know it’s not, but it is really never the same. Your children leave for college as young adults and return to you as adults finding their way.
So as I walked down the hall of Jacob’s dorm, I wanted to get on the elevator quickly so no one would see my tears. Tears of happiness and pride. Tears of sadness because no longer would I watch Mike and Mike with my son before his school day. Tears that Pam knew I would shed. She was by my side with Kleenex in hand.
For the parents gearing up for Move-in Day, it’s a new beginning to be celebrated.
For the children who are leaving their parents home to start the most exciting journey of all, remember your mom and dad are always there for you – cheering you on as you flourish and find your way.
For the friends sharing the joy, I hope you will remember the story of my friend Pam who offered to help and support me to make sure I had a friend Move-in Day to laugh with, sing with on the way home and hand me a few tissues.
The greatest gift we can give ourselves is wonderful friends like Pam.