Diary of a Sad Housewife

Sad housewifeThey say you spend 18 years preparing your child for the day he or she will leave the nest.  That’s all very well and good. But who is supposed to prepare YOU for the day your child leaves the nest?

We dropped my son off at college yesterday and he settled right in like he’d always been there.  Me?  I cried the whole way home in the car, the whole night, and then again when I woke up in the morning. It was the sight of his perfectly made bed and clean room this morning that did me in. His room was never that clean when he was actually living in it.  I thought about going in there and throwing some shoes and socks on the floor and piling up a couple of dirty ice cream bowls on the nightstand just to try to fool myself that he was still around. But then I realized the dog would eat the socks and then throw up and I’d rather be sad that my son is at college then mad because I have to clean up dog puke, so I decided to leave the room alone.

Then I thought about texting him to see how it was going.  But I figured there is probably nothing uncooler than being at college and trying to make new friends when you suddenly get a text from your mom asking how it was going and if you made any friends yet.

I also could have Instagrammed him a kissy face or Facebooked him a message, but ultimately I decided not to contact him at all.  Back when I was in college, my parents had to call my dorm room to reach me, and since we didn’t even have an answering machine, if they didn’t catch me in the room, they were out of luck. These days, there are no less than a half dozen ways for me to connect with my son while he’s at school (not including the hidden camera I stuck to his alarm clock. Just kidding. Maybe.) But as a parent, the tricky part of social media is actually knowing when NOT to use it.  Much as I’d love to hear his voice or get a message from him, I recognize that in these first few days of independence, he needs time to test his wings, without me looming in the background questioning his choices.

Still, I felt like I needed to do something. I needed to be useful somehow.  I needed to feel like he still needed me.

Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 4.12.52 PMSo I went out and bought him new boxers.

Because nothing says I love you and I miss you like clean underwear…

Except, maybe, clean socks.

Which I bought him, too.

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Filed under Uncategorized, Who Are These Children and Why are they Calling Me Mommy

10 responses to “Diary of a Sad Housewife

  1. Tracy, I love you. Been there. It hurts; it sucks. But you did just the right thing: new boxers, new socks – because that’s comforting, isn’t it? To you, and you’re the one who needs it. And an awesome blogpost – do you have it linked to his college website yet???

    • My husband set up a Google alert for my son’s college but I’m trying really hard not to “stalk” him and give him some space. I’ve gotten it down to three text messages a day! 🙂

  2. Marissa Jensen

    Tracy, as I read this, I am preparing my first son to enter Kindergarten and while he will still be at home, I am feeling the same empty nest. Even as young as he is, I still worry did I prepare him enough, will he be as smart as the other kids, will he make good choices for lunch, etc. Thanks for sharing this heartfelt blog!

    • I remember the day both my kids were finally in school full time at the same time. I thought I would be overjoyed to have so much time to myself but instead I kind of felt like I lost my purpose. Isn’t it funny… we spend so much energy wishing for time to ourselves, and then when we get it, we don’t want it as much anymore? I think all life transitions are hard… whether it’s kindergarten or college! Good luck with yours!!

  3. I just bought clean underwear for my son too… because nothing says I love you and miss you while you’re at Kindergarten like brand new Cars underwear.

  4. Nothing says I love you and miss you like clean underwear … I’ll have to remember that when mine moves out of the house.

  5. Tracy, hang in there kid! This too will get better. As a grown man, I can tell you that one thing hasn’t changed: my mom is still my mom! By the way, I hear it’s a WONDERFUL time to book a cruise and have some “me” time! 🙂