We have three kids in college this year.Â What?Â When did that happen?
Our middle child left a few weeks ago.Â And a little over a week ago, aÂ week before actual move-in day, we took Our Baby the Runner to college so she could start cross country practice.
Over the course of several days, she became acquainted with the rigors of participating in college-level athletics.Â It was a very difficult week for her, and we spent a lot of time talking to her on the phone.Â It was so difficult that she was questioning nearly every decision she had made that brought her to this point.
While we are thrilled that she has the opportunity to participate in college athletics, we also believe that whether or not to participate is totally her decision.Â And we will support her decision 100%.
The rigorous training regimen was way beyond her expectations.Â And spending the first several days with a bunch of strangers, in a strange bed (a dirty old couch), with limited access to the Internet and sketchy phone service (limiting herÂ ability to talk to friends and family) was almost too much for her.
But, she stuck it out for the entire week, and seemed happy to move into her actual dorm room, to see her friends and family, and to have her own personal space and things.
Joining us on move-in day was Our Baby the Runner’s twin sister who will move into her college dorm room in a few days.Â Our oldest daughter and her husband also joined us.Â They are alums of the university, and drove up to lend a hand and some support.
This is our first kid to have a college roommate that she was friends withÂ in high school.Â It was nice to know everyone in the room, and it helps that we all support each other and each other’s kids.Â Â Sisterhood – it’s powerful – both for theÂ kids and us moms.
I’llÂ feel better once Our Baby the Runner gets a semester under her belt, but after a week, it seemed that she was doing better.
As parents, you have to be there for your kids as they struggle with life’s challenges not so much to tell them what to do or to do things for them, but to walk beside them, give them some encouragement when they need it, a little advice even if they don’t ask for it, and a shoulder to cry on even when you least expect it.
The best part of move-in day for me was hearing some confidence come back into our baby’s voice, seeing a smile, and getting a hug that wasn’t grudgingly given but was strong and heartfelt.
Two down, one to go.