First Time Away from Home

Peanut was away from home for the first time. Sure, he’s been to spend the night with family and a few friends, but he’s never been gone for 4 days. Yes, I’m serious. To make it more intense? He was at the Congressional Youth Leadership Conference, it’s hard for a parent to let go, allow their child who’s 11 stay in a hotel with a roommate.

There were fabulous safety measures in place, but I was unnerved. After all, not only is he my only child, but he’s on his own. You have no idea how I’ve wanted to call and hammer him questions. “Did you brush your teeth? Have you taken your allergy meds? Please, for the love of God, tell me you showered and actually remembered your deodorant!”

However, I dealt with it and my own anxieties that were much greater than any would have. When we showed up yesterday to pick him up, it was like he’d aged 5 years. Now, don’t get me wrong, this kid has always walked around with what can best be described as “swagger”. He walks into a room and he owns it. Most of the adults I know don’t carry the level of confidence he has. I was going to add arrogance, because it’s there. However, even Peanut admits his own arrogance and owns it, so there really is no need.

When he originally saw me? Nothing. Just a nod of the head, a wave of the hand and a “Hi, Dad”. Um…HELLO. I’m Mommy. My lady bits haven’t been the same since I squeezed you out nearly 12 years ago, the least you could do is give me a little acknowledgement.

Yet, he strutted away with his posse. If you can call a group of boys in sport coats and squeaky new dress shoes a posse. I was more worried they’d challenge me to a spelling bee than a gun fight.

But, he made it up to me. After the brief commencement ceremony, I got what I wanted. No, I got what I needed. Reaching out for a hug, he laid his head on my shoulder and just held on tight. I didn’t want to let go. I know these hugs are going to be further and further apart and I’m selfish.

I wanted those hugs. I needed those hugs. I didn’t want to let go, ever.

That’s the hardest part of parenting, letting go. I’m having to learn to get go. He’s getting older and growing more independent by the day. Bummed is an understatement. I miss that little guy who looked at me with stars in his eyes. But, I love seeing the young man he’s turning into.

It’s a change of the seasons. Moving from little boy to tween; I have to learn to go with flow. Wherever that path may take us.


  1. When I read this I felt like I could have written it. You nailed it! I didn’t know that parenting was all about letting go…but sadly it really is. But letting go enables our babies to become young men with self confidence and pride. It’s so hard though!!!
    Great post!
    Motherhood Is Messy recently posted..Prom 2012…Chivalry Is Not Dead

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