The Present

To my College Freshman…

The day is here.  

                    And you are ready. 

But here’s the problem, babe: we spent so much time and energy getting YOU ready, we forgot to get ME ready.  

I know this is the life you’re making without me, and you’ll get to make up new rules along the way.  

But I don’t remember what my heart felt like before you were with me!

So please cut me some slack, and be patient as I learn how to Do This.  

Forgive — in advance — the many texts, emails, and phone calls I am going to be making.  Please know they will be just a fraction of the total I will want to send and make.  

I hope the amount of “real” mail you will receive from me doesn’t embarrass you.  

I hope future care packages will smooth over any embarrassment caused.  

I hope you will accept me wanting to see you once in a while.  Either with you coming home for a break, or me coming to visit you.  This is as much to see you as it will be for me to get to know your new environment — and to reassure me you haven’t forgotten where you came from.  

Now, just because I would like that, I know there will be times it won’t work.  Trust me when I say, although I will be terribly disappointed, I will survive it.  I am a tough (yet tender) cookie.  Don’t forget it.  

I hope you will reach out to me, too.  Please call or text or something if you’re feeling down or overwhelmed or lonely.  If you need me, I will drop what I am doing.  I will answer a call day or night.  

Let me know if a class isn’t going well.  Even if you’re failing it.  Remember, I’ve been to college, I really do know what it’s like.  

Tell me the good things happening, too!  I will answer day or night…

Are the other kids what you expected?  What surprises you most about college-living?  What’s easier than you thought?  What’s harder?

Tell me about your favorite place on campus.  

Tell me how the food is, and how the spaghetti isn’t NEARLY as good as mine.  

Once in a while, tell me that you miss me (even if you don’t really). 

This will be one of the greatest challenges of my life: learning how to not be part of your everyday world — and not having you as part of mine. 

I’ve taught you well (I hope; I’m pretty sure) how to be a good person, how to go out into the world and work for what you think is right.  How to work towards what you want.  Now you’ll learn by doing.  I believe in you, with everything in my heart!  But there are going to be some times when you fall…. and I won’t be right there to help.  

It’s in a Mama-bear’s nature to want — and need — to help her cub.  

But I know I won’t always be able to, whether it’s distance, or rules, or because it’s something you need to take care of yourself (See?  I’m learning…).

And you need to remember I am always in your corner.  Got that?  ALWAYS.  ALL WAYS.  

I’m proud of you.  I love you.  And I will miss you —  because I like you.

       Always and forever.           Love, Mama

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