She boxes it all up and she’s practically beaming. She’s bopping up those stairs to the dorm with a little pep in her step. She’s checking out the guy you keep passing with the clipboard and his name badge states Resident Advisor. Hmm, he seems a little too handsome for that role.
I know Mommas it’s hard. Sending them off for the first time out of the nest is what the last 18 years were leading up to, but how did it happen so fast? How are we here already?
Last year the hubby and I sent our oldest off for her freshman year. We spent the morning moving her in, unloading all the clothes, dishes, and office supplies. She was trying to be considerate of sharing space with a stranger and meeting her for the first time. It was when we were finishing up the closet setup and the final touches of the kitchen that I could see a little bit of her fear speaking out. He and I could sense the overwhelming flood of emotions she was feeling; excitement at independence and freedom, some anxiety over the newness of roommates she didn’t know and a new schedule so foreign, it was all changing.
I heard a phenomenal idea on Happier podcast with Gretchen Rubin that I wish I knew last year when our freshman flew off to school.
The Blues Bag.
When Rubin sent her daughter Eliza off to college last year she left behind the Blues Bag. The Blues Bag was filled with a few wrapped presents for when she felt homesick or lonely. What a great idea! The gifts don’t have to be costly or large, even simple gifts like their favorite cereal, a picture frame with a happy memory, or a gift card to grab a coffee out. I love this idea for sooo many reasons. The Blues Bag is that perfect balance of showing your child how loved they are from afar and also giving them space to draw into that love on their time. The Blues Bag idea gives your freshman a well to seek out when they feel the pangs of missing momma on a tough day, a lifeline to feel loved when they feel lost in the sea of strangers, and tangible touches of your love to carry them through this next daunting chapter out on their own.
Let’s send them off with a big hug, a smile that’s beaming with pride and a love that they know is unconditionally waiting at home when they come over to visit. Go fly now little one!