My son sent me this Snapchat from college, and when I first saw it I giggled to myself. So typical of his self-deprecating sense of humor, I guessed my son was poking fun at this singular solitary moment. I know he has friends at college. I know his day is filled with the bustle of classes, extracurricular endeavors, an on-campus job, and social commitments. I wasn’t worried.
Until I WAS worried. I am a mother after all. I began to wonder if my son ever feels lonely. Does he ever feel out of place on his large campus, a small fish in a big pond? It’s easy to feel a little lost in college when you’re far away from home and the semester’s end is stressful and hectic. I know I felt this way in college so many years ago.
It reminds me of the trepidation I felt sending him off to his first day of kindergarten. I’ll admit I drove by his new school during his recess, just to catch a glimpse of him on the playground. I wanted to know if he was playing with the other children, if he seemed happy. I needed to see for myself that my son was doing fine without me.
It does not matter if our kids are little or big, if they’re on the blacktop of the schoolyard or the brick walkways of a college campus hundreds of miles away from home. We just want to know our children are safe, happy, and surrounded by people who care about them.
Parenting is a lifelong journey. I am and always will be my son’s mother.
And I’ll never stop worrying about him.