Our Son Returns from College Today

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Rosemary Hill | 9 comments

Preview{This post is dedicated to the mom who worries if her child will get out of school and succeed…the mom who packs on pressure on herself and transfers it to her child. Read it and hope. Read it and trust in God’s gracious goodness through it all. He loves your baby more than you do.}

He’ll be home today. Our youngest, David, is flying back into the nest for  a time before he marries this fall. I wrote about the emptying nest and refilling nest here. That’s been almost four years?! I should have counted the time by hair cuts since that post. So much has happened since then!

Time flies…like children flying out and circling back in the nest.

I am awake early today as  spring storms make their way through our region for the second morning in a row. Thoughts of cushioning the nest one last time have caused my restless sleep to ponder what groceries to purchase for his return and what things we can do to make this transition smooth for one about to graduate from college and enter the real world as gainfully employed man, yet living under his parents’ roof with rules until he says, “I do,” in October.

I think about the process of him getting into his favorite college when his high school academic experience  seemed to scream hopelessness in his face so often and squelch his dreams. I think that process began when he struggled with learning to read so young, then festered when a report of a ruptured ear drum caused us to nod when we thought back to him not answering us when we’d call to him from the other room, and perhaps explained why his reading got off to a rough start…hello? (if you can’t hear, you won’t hear the phonetic sounds of letters either). It progressed when a teacher shut him down by keeping him indoors during recess to make endless corrections on eraser-holed worksheets until it met her brutal expectations and he’d ball his hands into little boy fists not knowing how to express the hurt to his spirit she was causing.

I recall those AR tests in reading (insert Beethoven’s 5th Symphony sound byte here), in the summer, on vacation…ugh! I  believe those ruined any chance of a love of reading for that boy. I’m sure he would grow weary watching his dad and me veg out in books, not comprehending the joy we got/get from reading. Yet, he successfully went through a liberal arts degree with lots and lots of reading! Hallelujah!

In middle and high school, his average student tendencies were not the ones that charmed the teachers who preferred the easy to teach advanced learners that make a bad teacher look good, or a good teacher look great! He wasn’t the one who’d get the school noticed.

His good behavior didn’t even get him noticed since perfect GPA didn’t coincide. He never got in trouble at school. Never. He followed the rules, was kind to his classmates, respected his teachers, never smoked, never tried drugs, never drank, showed up on time, obeyed the speed limit, went to church, got in a relationship with Jesus early in life, made limited and wise friend choices, played outside every chance he got, had a great imagination, organized the little neighborhood boys for pick-up football and basketball and baseball. He developed his sense of humor and found it to be a way of breaking the ice among adults and peers.

He survived the good, bad, and ugly of school and came out strong and charmed his way into his college dream at Auburn University. He made friends with the admissions office and they bit and believed in him. He believed in Auburn and loved it early on and held onto that dream. (My alma mater’s not paying me to plug the creed.)

I prayed a lot for that boy in those school years…all of those 4K-12th grade years. I learned much about parenting flaws I had and how I didn’t trust God much with this child when it came to school. I tried to help, but my helping was a hovering worrier who questioned her child instantly at the end of the school day wanting to make sure he had all he needed to accomplish the day’s load at home related to school. I took on way too much pressure to help him succeed. I had to stop it and practice being the nurturing mom he needed rather than the worried mom who egged on the burdens he felt every period of the school day.

I worried about his grades in school and the school had a great way for parents to check on grades online 24/7. Ugh. I knew his scores before he did. Such was the pressure as a parent to be in the know and raise a successful child.

When he went away to college, he had to sign a waiver for us to access his grades. David signed the waiver. We never looked. Never. Not once. Ever. That was so freeing! It freed him. It freed us. And I think it caused him to thrive and take ownership over his academics.

School years at home was a tough season in mothering for me.

I’m not sure David even knows that.

Yet he survived. His dad and I survived. He thrived away from us and I want him to thrive back in the nest for this little period of time, too.

He’s coming back for just a little while. He’s coming back today.

So, to the mom who’s reading this and resonating with the worry and wondering about your own child who may have to work harder than most students for an average grade, don’t give up praying, don’t give up nurturing. Try to give up worrying and try to trust God’s better plans for your son or daughter. Don’t buy into the pressures of the academia gods. Be a student of your child. Quit comparing. Love them. Make some cookies for their return home from school today. Sit down and talk about something other than that. Go toss the ball. Snuggle. Take a walk. Tell them you believe in all the gracious goodness God has bestowed in them, and mean it.

To David, thank you for working hard and making it out of there in four years. Your dad and I are proud of you on so many levels. It’s really difficult for me to cite all of them. I’ll hug you hard when you pull in the driveway today. Welcome home!

To Auburn University, I say thank you for believing in David and supporting his progress. To the admissions office, I applaud you for taking a personal interest in his story and his background and offering hope to his ragged spirit when he applied and was wait-listed.  What a great place and an answer to prayers for him for you to take him under your wings.

To God. Thank You. I am overwhelmed.

I’ve got to go bake some cookies!


  1. Love it! <3

    • Love you! : )

  2. Can so relate to this. Enjoy the next few months! Another wedding? Wow, so neat!

    • Yes, another wedding! Wow, indeed. Thanks for reading and commenting. : )

  3. Can’t believe David had finished College, I think of him as that adorable little boy in his red cowboy boots!big congrats to him and to you and Rob!

    • Hi Nancy!
      Yes, those days of the little cowboy roaming the cul de sac are far gone and it has been a sweet adventure watching him grow up. Those were bliss-filled days in Farmington. Hugs to you and Charlie!

  4. Amy, I tried to subscribe to the blog. I think I may have mistakenly unfollowed and I can’t seem to resubscribe. Ugh! Kimberly

    • Hey Kimberly,
      I’m sorry about that! Check to make sure it’s not showing up in your spam folder. If that’s not the reason, then try again to submit a subscription. Keep in mind, too, that I’m not as regular about posting as I used to be so you won’t be getting as many as you might have received in the past. As of my responding to this, I haven’t written a new post…yet. ; )

    • Hey,
      I should have checked from my end to see if your subscription had gone through before I wrote the prior comment. But, I didn’t. In the meantime, I checked and yes, you are officially subscribed. Thank you for subscribing!


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