I Throw Like a Girl

Posts Tagged ‘college’

Got kids leaving for college for the first time?

Posted by Carol on August 23, 2009

My son left for college in the fall of 2007 for his first semester. He went to a college far, far away from home. The best way I can describe how I felt is “mourning”. I was mourning the end of the time he would live with us full time. Now that he’s been at college for a few years, and we’ve moved a whole lot closer to where he attends, and since we’ve replaced him with a Shih-tzu, I am doing much better.

A few weeks ago, Adrienne Carlson contacted me about writing a guest post for I Throw Like a Girl. So, I asked her to write an article on how mothers feel when their kids go off to college for the first time. I think she did an excellent job and I hope her advice will help those of you who are experiencing an empty nest or almost empty nest for the first time. Please thank Adrienne for me by leaving her some comments and by visiting her website!

Here’s Adrienne:

Mothers’ Emotions over Children’s First College Experience

You carry them in your body for nine months or so, nourishing and nurturing them as they get ready to be born into this world. You then spend the next 17 years taking care of their every need, cosseting them when they need to be pampered, taking them to task when they need to be disciplined, offering them a shoulder to cry on and words of wisdom when they’re emotionally distressed, and tucking them in to bed every night with a kiss even though you’ve just yelled at them for not keeping their room clean.

Parenting is a tough job, but one that offers a great deal of joy in return. As a mother, you love your kids more than anything else in the world. Maybe it is because they are a part of you, maybe it is just the way motherhood is – the moment you know they are going to leave home for college, you are torn between two conflicting emotions. On the one hand, you are filled with joy because your child is now an adult, all grown up and off to college. But on the other, your heart feels heavy because your young one is now ready to leave the nest and you’re going to have an empty room instead of a messy one.

It’s hard to take when your child is moving away from home, even if it’s for a short span of time. You know that things will never be the same again and that your son or daughter is starting their journey of life, on a path that is now going to take a different route from the one you take. You know that your paths will cross every now and then, but from now on, your baby is on his or her own.

Once your child has settled in college, you’re going to have to prepare yourself for many changes – from calling home often in the first few months, he or she is going to almost forget you when they’re busy with their friends, lessons and other social activities at school and not call for many days together, unless it is to ask for money. It may be difficult to cut the apron strings loose, but that’s just what you have to do if you want your child to be independent and responsible.

The visits home are going to become rare because your child is going to want to go away with friends during vacations or better still, secure positions as interns in order to get a head start on their careers. As a mom, you must also brace yourself for major or minor disasters when your child comes home distraught because of an affair that has gone wrong or any other emotional problem. You may have warned them beforehand, but even so, when it happens, offer comfort and constructive advice instead of saying “I told you so”.

Throughout all this, it is your responsibility as a mother to pray for them and with them, talk to them about their concerns and activities, avoid interfering in their lives unless you’re asked to, and reassure them that you love them and are there for them, no matter what.


This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of online christian colleges . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: adrienne.carlson83@yahoo.com 


Posted in but seriously, College Son | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

And we’re off…

Posted by Carol on January 16, 2009

By the time many of you read this, I will be on an airplane with my son, our first born child, flying (hence the airplane) to a far off land exactly 1,777 miles from home to deliver him back to college.


He was home for the fall semester because he thought he wanted to go to a school closer to home because he missed his us and his friends more than he thought he would. He had a few other reasons, also. While I was very happy to have him back under our roof for a while, I felt in my heart that it was probably best for him to return to the university where he started as a freshman in the fall of 2007.

Heck, I wish I could return to the university where he started as a freshman in the fall of 2007! They have a weekly cleaning service and dining halls with all-you-can-eat meals open all hours of the day and night. The recreation center puts most neighborhood gyms to shame. Which makes sense in light of the all-you-can-eat meals. That and the boatloads of money the parents send every semester.

Anyway, when we first dropped College Son off to said college 1 1/2 years ago, I was pretty much a basket case. I felt like someone had died. Hubs did his best to cheer me up. And eventually, we found a new normal at home even though 1/4 of us was missing.

This time, even though I will likely embarrass him when it is time for me to leave on Monday, I know he will be ok. He’s ready. He was ready 1 1/2 years ago.

I just needed more time for me to be ready.

Posted in College Son | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

A Wise Fool?

Posted by Carol on August 26, 2008

For those of you out there struggling through 2 AM feedings, potty training, the terrible twos, the first day of kindergarten and all those other wonderful but sometimes grueling milestones that come with raising younger children, here’s a glimpse of what’s to come when those little ankle biters grow into teenagers.

First, just a little background – our 19 year old son just started his sophomore year of college at a local school so he is living at home this semester.  His freshman year was spent at a large university over 1000 miles away, so he has had 9 months of total freedom from his parents.  No curfews, no calling mom if he is running late, no one telling him to do his homework, clean his room, etc.  And he did a very good job. 

Having him home again has been great, but has required some adjustments on both sides. For example, yesterday he helped some of his friends move back to college about a half hour away.  The original plan was that he was going to spend the night at the college, so we were not expecting him home.  We had been in bed for several hours when we heard the garage open at 1:45 AM.  College Son came not too quietly up the stairs and into our room.

CS – “Just wanted to let you know that I came home. They don’t have air conditioning at the college and I couldn’t sleep.”

Us -“Gee, thanks for letting us know. Good night.”

Next thing we know it’s 3:30 AM and all the lights are on in our house.  I got out of bed to see who was still up and what was going on and discovered that not only was College Son nowhere to be found, but neither was our 16 year old Dear Daughter.

Thank goodness for cell phones because I called DD’s phone and she answered it like it was 3:30 in the afternoon.

Us – “Where are you and CS?”

DD – “We went out for a drive to talk.”

Us -“You couldn’t just stay home and talk?”

DD – “No, we wanted a change of scenery.”

Us – “Well, come home right now and the next time you want a change of scenery, wait until morning and ask us first.”

DD – “Ok, we’re almost home.  We’ll be there in one minute.”

And sure enough, we heard the garage door open for the second time in the middle of that night.

Wouldn’t common sense have told CS that he should have reversed things a bit?  That he should have NOT woken us up to tell us he was home when we weren’t expecting him to be, yet when he was taking his 16 year old sister OUT of the house at three in the morning, that might be something we’d be interested in knowing?

I looked up the word sophomore in dictionary.com.  It is derived from two Greek words.  The first one is sophos which means wise.  The second is moros which means stupid. 

If the shoe fits.

Tee Hee!

Posted in College Son, Darling Daughter, family | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Just Keepin’ It Real With a List

Posted by Carol on August 6, 2008

As I am sure you are all fully aware, August is here.  Although I am loving the warm summer days, and the longish daylight hours of this season, August is bittersweet to me this year for several reasons. 

They are:

1.  College Son is not 100% sure he does not want to go back to the evil college that took him over 1777 miles from home last year.  He has not withdrawn yet, and we have paid no tuition anywhere, so he very well could end up back there.  The ironic part is that I think it may be the very best thing for him to do.  We discussed it at length today, and even as my heart started aching thinking of him leaving again, the words coming out of my mouth were all the reasons he should probably return.  He’s got some very good reasons for staying here, too, though.  He has to decide by next week. Edited to add: It looks like CS is staying in-state after all! 

2.  August means school will be starting for Dear Daughter in a few weeks.  (Sigh)  If you have been reading my blog since before the summer, you know that she has some, uh, let’s say, issues with school.  None of which are her fault and I’m not just being a protective mama bear.  We’re not even sure where she will be attending school this fall.  Her old school? Most likely not.  A different public school?  Maybe.  A private Christian school?  That would be my preference, but slim pickin’s where we live.  Homeschool?  Not the best choice for her for a number of reasons, but an excellent option if we need it.  So, stress?  Yes.

3.  Dear Hubby has been out of town for over a week and counting.  Yes, he has a return ticket home, so not to worry, but, GET HOME ALREADY! (sorry for shouting)

4.  We will be having a house guest next week whom I have never met. This person will be here for 7 nights.  I normally LOVE, LOVE, LOVE company, but this one has me praying for an extra serving of the Fruit of the Spirit in my life next week.  And that’s all I can say about that.

So, August this year, not so much my favorite month.  September might be looking better.  We’ll see. Here’s what I’ll be doing in the meantime…

I Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.” 

Good advice, I must say.




Posted in College Son, Darling Daughter, Dear Husband, family | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Teen Logic

Posted by Carol on July 1, 2008

In our house, we never rarely use bad language.  My kids are not little, so it would not be the end of the world if they heard mom or dad “slip” and say a curse word now and then, but we don’t have to worry about them repeating things at inopportune times anymore, like in Sunday School or in front of the pastor.  But we just don’t do it. 

Both Dear Hubby and I were raised in Christian homes where there was no cursing, went to a Christian high school, and then a very legalistic Christian college.  If we had said a curse word at college, there would have been a distinct possibility that we would have our tongues cut out of our mouths with a dull machete. 

But other than that, college was a total blast.

Not that I’m in favor of using curse words.  As a Christian we do want to be salt and light and different from the world.  But I don’t fall over in anaphalactic shock if I hear a bad word.

All that to say, the other day my teenage daughter and I were talking and she let the word H.E.L.L. slip.  She caught herself and waited for my reaction. 

“So, you learned a new vocab word at school?” I said.

“Uhm, no, I just decided that H.E.L.L. is not a bad word to use.”

“Oh, why is that?”

“Well”, she explained, “we don’t use God’s name because He is holy and we want to show Him respect,  but H.E.L.L. is just a place made for Satan and his demons.  Why should we treat it with the same reverence and respect that we give to God’s name?  It’s just a word and by not using it we are putting it on the same level with things that deserve to be set apart.”


I think I will send her to my Alma Mater and have her explain things to the Dean.





Posted in Darling Daughter | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

Posted by Carol on May 5, 2008

Oh my goodness! I am going to attempt to write this post and be coherent even though it is 12:37AM.  For some reason WordPress thinks it’s 4:37AM which just makes me feel more tired. (They use GMT…whatever).  It just means that they say the day is over when it’s only 8:00PM here which bugs me to no end because I know darn well that there are 4 more hours left to the day and they get to say it’s over when it’s not really over.

Done ranting now, thankyouverymuch!

Anyway, you may guess by the title of my post that I am slighty happy about something.  You would be right, aside from my rant above.

College Son called home again.  Yes, the one that broke his mother’s heart by choosing a college that is exactly 1777 miles away from here.  Well, College Son will be home from said college in exactly 2 weeks.  In 14 days he will be sleeping under the same roof as the rest of us for the whole, entire summer.  Unless, of course, he decides he wants to go on a short-term missions trip, which I would support 100% whole-heartedly.

But wait! There’s more!  Not only is CS coming home in 2 weeks.  Remember, I told you there was a phone call recently and it wasn’t to tell me that he was coming home.  I already knew that.  He was calling to say that he wants to transfer to a college in our state!  He has had a great experience where he is. He has done a good job, but he misses his family and friends more than he thought he would. I’m not going to say “I told you so”. But I can think it.

So, depending on which college he chooses, he will either be a half hour from home or two hours from home.  Either one is fine with me because now we have two great things – CS home for the weekend more often and (cue angel’s singing) IN-STATE TUITION!

It’s a beautiful thing.

Posted in College Son | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Conversations From College

Posted by Carol on February 7, 2008

Some of you have wondered if College Son ever calls home, especially after this post.Well, he has called home a few times so far this semester and here are a few of the ways he has started the conversation:

“Hi Mom, I’m just calling to see if you think I need to go to the Emergency Room.”


“I wanted to let you know that we’re going snowboarding today.”


“It’s been a while since we talked and I wanted to say ‘hi’.” 

And here’s how he ended (or thought he would be ending) one conversation:

“Oh, yeah, did I tell you I almost got mugged on my way back from chem lab the other night?”

I have figured out that all I can really do is pray – a lot.  But isn’t that the truth about everything anyway?

As College Son says at the end of his phone calls:

“Much Love”,


Posted in College Son, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

He’s Gone :(

Posted by Carol on January 21, 2008

In my last post, I mentioned that there were a few things stressing me out that I let control me a bit too much on Saturday.  One of those things is that our son who is a freshman in college over 1000 miles away left today for his second semester. I just looked it up on Google maps and it is actually 1,777 miles. Sigh….

He had been home for 5 weeks and it was great to have him around again. Yes, he made messes, created more laundry, ate more food, had friends coming and going at all hours.  But it’s worth it and I miss him.

I once read a plaque in a doctor’s office that said, “To become a mother is a momentous decision.  It is to decide to have your heart walk around outside your body for the rest of your life.”   So true.

On the bright side, he was really looking forward to going back to the busy-ness and independence of college.  He loves his classes and did a fantastic job last semester. I am very proud of him and I know that even though I hate to see him go, things are as they should be.

So, Son of Mother Who Throws Like A Girl, if you’re reading this, don’t forget to call home once in a while!   Your Mom loves you.

Posted in College Son | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »