With just two years left of high school for the Sonish, talks are often turning to college. What will he want to study? Where will he want to go? How much is this going to cost? How does this change things for all of us? The answers are simpler than we'd like to admit. He'll study what he wants to. He'll go to the school that best fits his needs. It will cost what all colleges cost ... a lot of money. Yes, it will change everything.
So why is facing these changes so hard? Because change is hard. Professionally, the Hubs and I both manage change for a living so you would think that change would be our specialties but this is different. This is personal. This is the kid we love more than any other in the world. While change is scary for us (probably far more than it is for him), we're also honored to be a part of his life and be able to be there for him as these changes occur.
You see, since he doesn't live with us we won't experience the empty nest syndrome that many parents do. We won't wander into his room after he moves away and wonder where the years went. We won't do that because we do it every time he goes back to the East Coast after a visit. We feel the heart-ripping pull each and every time. Yet somehow this is different. It's different because visits are scheduled at this phase of our lives but in a couple of years those go away. He doesn't have to make time for us (although we're confident he will) and he is free to make his own decisions and we're confident he'll make the right ones. But change is change. Simple as that. It will take time to understand it and to appreciate it.
The good news is that we have time to prepare, with him, for the changes ahead. We'll talk about colleges and begin helping him make plans for the future. With living half a continent apart, we can't begin to participate in everything but as always we'll do the best we can to be there for him and always be that steady place he can call home.