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I’ve been dreading this week for some time now. My boy, my one and only, beautiful, sweet boy, is leaving the nest to head off to college. This rite of passage is a tough one. I’ve been taken by surprise by the gamut of emotions that I’ve been going through. My brain is screaming at my heart to be happy, and so incredibly proud of our son, as he embarks on this new journey. We’ve taught him well. He’s ready to meet new people, discover new interests, to learn, to grow, and to discover himself. A parents dream.

That was five minutes ago, when the intellectual side of me was in control. Now my heart has taken charge, and it’s breaking. The reality of his impending absence from our everyday life weighs heavily. I can’t imagine not giving him a big ol’ hug every day and calling him down for dinner. But, I must.

The distraction and busyness of prepping Conor for his new, not so Connecticut Country House, has helped. With our college supply list steadily getting checked off, every day we’re adding to the collection that’s piling up in the middle of the dining room.

I see what we’re doing. We’re preparing him to leave this nest, and helping him create a new nest in Rhode Island. I guess that was the plan all along.

I’m really, really, really going to miss that sweet boy.

Love, Nora


  1. Nan, Odessa, DE on September 3, 2015 at 11:01 am

    GOD gives them to us for a short while and the duty is not only to love them but to prepare them to fly away.
    Don’t think of it as losing your boy, think of it as the next step in this young man’s journey.
    GOD is giving you the opportunity to enjoy and observe. He isn’t leaving your life.
    NOW it is time for you to fill your life with the next part of your journey. What new adventure awaits you?
    Been there and done this. Bless you and your boy.

  2. D on September 3, 2015 at 11:42 am

    My kids have been gone for 20+ years now, The first part of September remains to be bittersweet…your children leave you and along with them, Summer slips away too…my two favorite things on earth!
    Your post has left me a bit emotionally off-kilter, I too, like You, could use a big ‘ol hug!

  3. Ilene on September 3, 2015 at 11:48 am

    It should make you feel a little better that Conor will have the best looking dorm room in all of Rhode Island!!

  4. Kathy on September 3, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Remember those days, Nora. So proud to send them off, but gut wrenching at the same time. Shedded so many tears after drop off. Home felt empty, but then before you know it, it’s over. Stay strong!! He will be home before you know it!!

  5. Connie on September 3, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I felt the same way when our son, an only child went far away to college!
    I actually took to my bed for a day!
    Reading some books about letting go…giving our children
    roots and wings etc. really helped…
    BUT, let me tell you this…..our son came HOME after only one semester at college!
    Now, that changed things!
    His Ivy League college wasn’t a good fit!
    I wanted him to have roots and wings!
    He did choose a big college in our home town a semester later!
    I was happy when he left that time!
    He lived on campus and we rarely saw him, but he had roots and wings…….just near home. Now he is married and lives far away.
    He tells us he wishes he had stayed at the first college of his choice!
    You just never know….one thing for sure, I wish we hadn’t encouraged the fraternity life he joined……..WAY too much drinking and partying!
    Now days I think they have better counselors to help students when
    they are questioning their choices……and they have discouraged heavy drinking and partying!


  6. Sandy Whitton on September 3, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    I fee your pain, Nora. Ryan’s been away for a week now and I miss him terribly. It is exciting to watch him spread his wings and fly! Hugs

  7. Kate on September 3, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Hugs. Just hugs. And a tissue.

  8. Deb on September 4, 2015 at 7:46 am

    I dread this! My daughter has two years to go and she wants to go South. That’s where I went and I loved it so I don’t want to dissuade her! But it’s so hard to imagine! I’m glad your son isn’t going too far, but even though you might see him on occasion it’s totally different to have him out of your daily life. Hugs to you!

  9. Victoria on September 4, 2015 at 11:14 am

    My heart aches for you and with you Nora. Been there and it’s so hard to let them go. I am sending prayers of comfort and peace your way. And bushels of hugs.

  10. Linda Hartman on September 5, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Dear Nora, may there be comfort in knowing that countless mother’s now share with you or recall the roller-coaster of emotion which now is upon you. It’s real, for sure. Takes a steady hand and loads of resolve to see it through as you must and I know you will. I don’t know if my advice will be of help to you and while it sounds trite, it’s sincere: When it’s all said and done, ask Murph to treat you some ice cream concoction from the nearest possible source. I recall feeling absolutely drained and limp from maintaining my “stiff upper lip” while noting all the needs of my college bound young adults, reminding myself that they each also were experiencing their own bits of uncertainty and emotion. Yet, with ice cream on board, I was able to close my eyes for a little nap at the start of the car rides home. My thoughts truly are with you all. Love, Linda

  11. Cheryl on September 7, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Oh, Nora, this post tugs at the heartstrings! I so “get” the gamut of emotions. All normal, all hard. Yes, you will miss the everyday-ness of life with your son. But, in time, the everyday-ness will be replaced by a relationship on a different, yet equally wonderful, level.

  12. Andi Biagi on September 8, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Dear Nora,
    I feel a kinship in reading this because I too only have one child, a boy who left for college for the first time 2 years ago. I often say I can’t be sad when he goes because he is doing what he was taught to do- go and explore and learn about the world outside of our little bubble here in Virginia. AND more than anything, he is happy! He is now starting his junior year, and I can see him growing and changing.
    I think that as long as your children are happy you will be! I agree with an earlier post from Nan who said, now it is your turn to explore something new….
    Give it time, you’ll adjust-
    It’s very fun when they come home and share……oh my the stories.
    Hang in,

  13. Elizabeth Zawacki on September 27, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I’m just catching up on your blog/comments. I, too, have any only child – a son. He just graduated Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, and is working in Wilton. We live in New Jersey and although it’s only an hour (give or take on the Merritt!) like you, I miss the “everyday” of him. We are now contemplating moving to CT!

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