My Son’s Home from College for the First Time. Here are My Thoughts for Him

It’s been four months since we dropped our son at college, and I get to see him in two days! It’s my son’s first time home from college. I read a poignant article that resonated with me by Mia Freedman, who wrote:

Being the mother of a son is like someone breaking up with you really slowly.

Our job, as moms, is to raise boys into men, and give them tools to successfully grow up and leave to start their own families. Eighteen years goes by in a flash. One minute we’re nursing from the breast, teaching them to hold a fork, then chop sticks, then poof…they have their own credit card to order food. They slowly but surely grow up and away from us.

freshman son is home
My freshman is home and looking scruffy. (photo via Samantha Kuhr)

 My son’s home for the first time since he left for college

  • The last time you had a haircut was early August as we left California shiny and clean to move into the dorms. I suppose haircuts don’t quite make the budget as a college student since you’re now a shaggy haired man. BTW, who knew you had curly hair!?!
  • I’m not sure where the man-beard came from, but clearly freshmen don’t shave. Is this a phase, or do I need to adjust to this new you?
  • Contrary to popular belief, college is not an all-inclusive resort in Cabo where you are obligated to drink as much cheap booze as possible to get your money’s worth.
  • Your life no longer revolves around me. It’d be weird if that were not the case, but ouch….this is a primal pain. I really enjoyed you coming to me for every single thing. Well, most things…not the three car accidents, obvi.
  • How and why do you sleep so much? That’s impressive…and not in the good way.
  • No you shouldn’t bring your dirty sheets cross country for me to wash them. Nor should you bring a full bag of dirty clothes for that matter either. Gross. Use one of the 2000 laundry pods I bought you when you moved in four months ago!
  • I follow along with your college soccer team social media, and it makes my whole WEEK when I catch a glimpse of you smiling and having a great time with your buddies.
  • How could you possibly not have realized you had a final on Wednesday? You see there’s this thing called a syllabus, that outlines EVERYTHING expected of you to succeed in a course. This isn’t shown on Snapchat, Instagram or Call of Duty either, so perhaps stop spending so many hours in these places trying to seek this out. You need to actually poke around your college portal to figure this stuff out.
  • It’s hard to describe the pride of watching you grow into a man and figure (or not) things out for yourself.
  • Yep you still have a curfew. I understand you are an adult and you can ‘do what you want now’, but there’s no way I’m lying awake waiting for you to come home at whatever hour you choose.
  • Wow. Your vocabulary has upgraded significantly from the grunts you left with. It’s lovely to have actual adult conversations with you about things that matter. Can we have more?
  • You are going to wear matching Christmas PJ’s with your brother, and bake a gingerbread house wearing your Santa hat, like we did the past 17 years. Non-negotiable.

This phase is new to me. I don’t know how to navigate this and I think it’s even harder than college drop-off. How do I express my love as I watch you truly growing up preparing to leave my safe nest? I’m comforted by knowing I did it right. This is how it’s supposed to work.

I need to figure out how to channel my longing for one more day to walk to the beach, buy you ice-cream and watch it dribble all over your face and hands, then throw you in the bathtub so we can snuggle in your little PJ’s with feet. And read Skateboard Mom for the 1000th time. Cat? Dog? Foster Kids? Who knows.

I know you love me more than life itself, but I also know we need to settle into our new rhythm.

About Samantha Kuhr

Samantha Kuhr is a travel and health writer, breast cancer survivor and supermom to two active boys! She's a digital and brand consultant, and founder of She keeps it real and shares stories of raising teenage boys, family life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with her dry, and sometimes naughty, sense of humor.

Read more posts by Samantha

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