It’s that time of year, primary school starting, college students leaving and families grappling with big changes in the household.
We’ve got one son in the final semester of his senior year (graduating early, oh yes he is!) our middle boy leaving for his freshman year at PLNU and our third son entering his sophomore year of high school.
The third child, is the main reason for this post. I’ve already reminded you well meaning folk of what not to say to parents of college students in my post “Five Thing Not To say To College Parents.”
Turns out we’ve got more “don’t say its” regarding only having one child left at home. I thought we covered this in bullet number two in my 5 Things post. Go ahead and click the link above, I’ll wait.
Apparently now, people have taken it to the other extreme.
I cannot tell you the numbers of people that comment on how the empty nest is in sight. People encouraging us to” just hold on, the end is near!” Telling us we’ve “almost made it”, that we “only have one more to get behind us!” “So you’re not quite empty nesters, but pretty much!”
And sadly they say it in front of our son.
See here’s the thing, we have 3 1/2 more years to enjoy him while he’s under our roof.
I know of no scenario where 3 1/2 years is “almost”. Almost refers to situations of immediacy like “I’m almost over this cold, the chicken is almost done”, and the ever popular “I almost hit the target with the grenade.”
I guess we’re just different, but we are grateful for the gift of the next years to focus on our third child. Due to birth order, he’s been last to do everything. We certainly don’t plan to short change him now.
In the 5 things post I suggest if you don’t know what to say, that it might be best not say anything at all. I further suggest that you simply ask yourself what it would feel like if someone referred to you as “something to endure or get through” and then again, don’t say anything at all.
Go easy on us college parents, separation is one of the most challenging things we as humans endure.