Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Separation Anxiety - in Reverse

Well, my 18-yr.-old son left for Australia last night, so now the shoe is on the other foot. After all those years of little ones hanging onto my leg and not wanting to let go, it's my turn to worry about my son as he travels to a different continent - heck, even a different hemisphere!

I had a taste of adult separation anxiety two years ago when my daughter went away to college. I was okay up until the final goodbyes, then found I couldn't speak. I held back the tears until I got in the car, then let loose. This September, I get to say goodbye to my son as well, as he heads off to college too, so I guess I should be getting good at it by now. But it takes some courage to send your child so far away.

My one consolation is that I remember so well how much fun I had the summer I was nineteen. I got the opportunity to study in Heidelberg, Germany through my college, Pepperdine University. It was the best summer of my life, hands down, as I got to travel to many countries and experience different ways of life. I will never forget that summer, and I hope my son will have great memories of his time in Australia. My daughter is looking to study in Ireland, and I know my youngest will want to take some type of big trip as well.

It's all a part of growing up, going on these adventures. It's tough on the parents, but it's so educational and so meaningful to the kids, and I hope every young adult gets an opportunity to broaden his or her horizons and go explore the world!


Judy said...

Hi Theresa,

From the first day of school to sending them off on a trip or off to school - my experience - they don't get easier.

I too held back those tears - choking as I walked away from the dorm - good thing my husband was driving us home.

One comforting thought is that they knew they goo off on their journeys in life with your love in their hearts.


Carma's Window said...

Theresa even though you know they will enjoy this time of their life as you did it doesn't make it any easier. Parents will always worry. What great experiences they will have to share with you when they return.


Dorit Sasson said...

Hi, Theresa,

Excellent post my friend with just the right emotional insight that one doesn't get with a three and a half year old.

I agree wholeheartedly: experiencing another culture even in its smallest degree is an education in itself. I've experienced living in Israel for 19 years and it has been one life lesson after another. Truthfully, I don't know if I would be ready to send my son off to the Israeli army. Now that's another post.

It's easier now to know at least what to expect. With that said, the emotional juorney won't be any easier as other have confirmed as well.

Thank you.


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