Our son took the PSAT this school year. He’s 16 years old. About a week ago, he started receiving letters in the mail from colleges. “Go to our website and sign up for more information!” Every day, the mailbox contains at least one or two letters with a fine logo embossed in the upper left corner of the envelope and addressed to our son.
I was not prepared for this. I was putting off thinking about it until his junior year.
I knew he would grow up one day and leave home. I know that day is approaching. We make conscious choices as a family to make the most of the time we have together because we know it’s growing short.
But still, the day he leaves home has always been vague and in the future. I avoided picturing it because I didn’t want to picture it. I was in denial, though I didn’t realize that until the letters started coming.
These letters make it real. They say: your child is no longer a child. Even if he didn’t want to go to college, if he wanted to travel or go straight to work, he’d still leave home one day. I’m so proud of him, of who he is as a human being, and I want him go out into the world and be free and be him. But goodness my heart aches when I think of his sweet little boy face, his sweet little boy voice, his teenage smile, his wry wit, the emptiness that will be left behind when he goes on his way.