Time to Cry Tuesday – Circling the Drain


This is cruel as the previous mentioned 7 girlfriends sending off 7 daughters (and a son) are in full swing of departure this week. But I could not resist this post because, well because after all it is Tuesday and quite frankly I need a good cry.

I would like to start this off with a quote that makes more sense every year. A dear friend told me when her first child went off to college that ‘It was good for them’. I did not quite get it until I experienced it myself. But let’s face it folks, they are in college and that is a blast and we send them off and have to stay home and figure out how to pay for it and that is not. Period.

My daughter comes and goes and has for the past two years. She is never home for more than a few weeks at a time. We are used to her ebb and flow, her presence and absence. We are thrilled when she is here, sad when she leaves and back to our routine within a few days of her departure.


I mean the routine gets easier but it is mostly because we have trained ourselves not to dwell on it. This is the mother of all parental behavior modification techniques. We know we need to let go and we do (on the outside anyway). Her growth outweighs our desire to keep her close by because her very absence and experiences out in the world are what make her so much more of what she is; a remarkably independent, capable, amazing young woman, who happens to have a great sense of humor and fabulous hair. (ok, so I am partial because she is my kid. This is my blog, I can brag if I want to).

So today when my friend told me that she was ‘circling the drain here’ I could not help but laugh. Until I got choked up and started to cry. For her. I knew exactly what she meant. We are thrilled and excited for them but surely in the first few weeks of their freshman year we are also scared to death. Way more than they are.

Here it is in a nutshell. We are their mothers (and fathers). We spend all these years raising them to be what they have become. But there is that defining moment, the one where the universe as we know it shifts and things are never truly the same. Things are not worse, on the contrary they are actually better for this is the payoff for all that hard work.

But once a year, when the universe shifts yet again, we have that recurring moment where we feel like we are going down the drain.

Don’t worry my dear parents of freshman, let me be your emotional plumber. I will fish you all out and dry you off and make sure there is a good stiff drink on the other side. I love each and every one of you – and your daughters (and one son), and I am so very proud to have you all in my life.

Tissues, please!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under college, family, Jana, moms, relationships, Time to Cry Tuesdays

8 responses to “Time to Cry Tuesday – Circling the Drain

  1. ronni

    I never said that!

  2. I’m only two days back from dropping my son in North Carolina. THREE THOUSAND MILES AWAY. Omg! He is fine. I am fine. If I keep chanting it over and over it will be true?

  3. Fran

    Just droppped my son Jake at Ithaca College yesterday. He’s a freshman and I have been appreciating your blogs Amy. It is bittersweet. I think I am jealous that it’s not me who is staying at school being given a second opportunity to live those years knowing what I know now. He’s having a GREAT time. I am not going down the drain..just treading water. Keep those blogs coming. Thanks.

  4. Ro

    fyi: i still go down the drain and they’re both out working and living on their own. maybe daughter-in-laws and/or babies will stop it but i don’t think so.

  5. Liz

    This is such a great post Amy. Thanks.

  6. I stand corrected. Just heard from the friend I misquoted. She actually said she was CIRCLING the drain which is way better!

  7. judy

    i am hanging on by a thread here–having been doing this for 6 years now….still not any easier….maybe worse. and here at work…didn’t need to be crying. thanks alot…..

  8. Pingback: Rats! « i could cry but i don’t have time

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