Don’t Hold the Hand I let Go.

I don’t have five babies. I have kids. When I look at my kids I don’t see babies I see young adults, teens, and pre-teen. I knew one day they would grow up and move out to carve out their own life. I also knew it was my and my husband’s job to prepare them to make that leap into adulthood. #3 and I are similar we can be a group and we also do well alone. We relish our independence, and crave space to make our own decisions. That said, we journeyed to 3’s college orientation and while we enjoy being around each other neither one of us wanted to be at the orientation. It consisted of a lot of hand holding for parents and students and neither one of us wanted our hands held, and opting out was not an option. Everything 3 needed to do all together took about an hour but it was stretched into a daylong event. I quickly realized I didn’t fit in with the mothers who proudly raised their hands to admit they still do their college kids laundry. In my house you get introduced to the washer and dryer at 9. I didn’t read through 3’s packet, I didn’t fill out 3’s forms. It was all on 3. I answered the occasional question and nothing more.
When the parents and kids were separated I had to endure more parental hand holding with power point presentations on my feelings, how to talk to my kid when 3 calls home, what not to say, how to let go, how to mentally prepare for the let go, having the talk, expectations about how many times to call in a week and visit. Now while there may be some parents who need this. I don’t so needles to say I was irritated I had to sit through it. 3 and I have been together for 18 years we know how to talk to each other and argue. Not gonna lie we don’t always see eye to eye. But to disagree is natural when children are developing into adults. The talking points offered amounted to things I would say to a barista while I waiting for my order or someone I just met pleasant and generic conversation. Nothing like what I would say to someone who I carried for 9 months, cradled on my chest when only moments old, someone I raised. As far as letting go I went into motherhood knowing I was going to have to let go. I never once wanted my kids to stay babies forever. Never. So, for me there is not big letting go moment because I knew I wasn’t holding on forever. I believe mothers who say they want their kids to be babies forever are selfish. As for the talk 3 and I have been there done that. Personally, I feel if you haven’t had it with your 18 year-old. What the hell are you waiting for? As I looked around I saw parents taking notes. I thought WTF? Note taking? Someone really had to tell you this and your concerned you might forget it?
3 had to endure being spoken to like a child about money, again some children need this 3 didn’t. 3 didn’t need the feelings lecture. 3 needed to register for classes. I wouldn’t be so upset set but for the fact that there was no express program for those of us who don’t need this experience. If 3 and I have let go of each others’ hands why is someone forcing us to hold their hand when we don’t need to. It was clear as the day went on that 3 and I were in the minority as if pertained to this experience. One of the worse parts is when 3 finally got to see an advisor and he handed 3 a schedule, which they picked based off her personality and had nothing to do with her major. Now, because of the way 3 was raised   3 didn’t accept those classes and chose classes that worked with the major. 3 is starting college with 27 college credits. 3’s major and profession in life and life goals were chosen by 3. I wouldn’t pick for 3 why would someone else who doesn’t know 3, and isn’t paying for 3’s education feel they could pick for 3. While 3 was enduring that I was being told about in my “meeting” and my blood started to boil. Someone making a decision for my child when I wanted 3 to make on their own. 3 can’t grow if someone is jumping in to handhold. Besides putting someone in a class based on a questionnaire makes no sense to me to at all. But again I was in the minority as I sat in the room with the other parents. We were desperate to leave, but trapped and forced to endure an experience neither one of us wanted. Based off of dread that neither one of us had. 3 and I are excited for the future. To us it’s not the end but the next chapter in our relationship. But 3 can’t grow it everyone doesn’t let go.

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