Another Semester, Another Goodbye

Another Semester, Another Goodbye

There they go, my son, Glenn, and his dad, van loaded down, chugging up the driveway on the trek back to Boston and another semester at college. That’s me, standing in the driveway, sleet falling on my head, trying not to cry because on this cold, wintry day those tears will freeze on my face, adding insult to injury.

My son has been at school for four years now; he’ll graduate in May. And for those four years, it’s been the back-and-forth between home and school, vacations and study. The first two years were nothing but gripes about how boring life was back at home; our provincial Rhode Island town can’t hold a candle to the panorama of Boston. Lately, however, I sense a change in that perception. As graduation nears and the prospect of “real life” looms, the (somewhat fragile) security of home looks pretty good, after all.

Glenn taking his leave.

I walked through the house last night, surveying the garbage bags filled with clothes (why use a suitcase when you can use a trash bag??!!), boxes of books and CDs, and other stuff, thinking “OK, I won’t miss this extra stuff.” But I will miss the boy whose stuff it is. The lives of both my son and daughter are etched into my very being: whenever they leave, a part of me goes with them.

I don’t hope he comes back after graduation; not at all, although circumstances may dictate that he does for a while at some point. But I do hope that as their lives progress, my children will find a place of sanctuary, when needed, with their father and I as well as with the people and places that shaped them.

As Glenn left today, words from the Book of Ruth came to mind: “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (1:16).

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not about to follow my kids into the broad reach of young adulthood. But what I do hope, at this point in their lives, is that what we have shared throughout the process of growing up as a family will stay with them and nourish them on their life’s journey.

Family relationships constantly change and grow. How do you feel when your children have moved on, or when a significant family relationship changes?


About the Author

Mary Carol Kendzia is a product development director for Franciscan Media Books. She lives in Rhode Island, where she occasionally dips her toes into the Atlantic and reflects on the mysteries of life, among other things.
  • Christopher Heffron

    Wonderful blog, Mary Carol!