Thanksgiving has always been about gratitude, but the past year has shown me a specific set of new blessings. A year ago I had just sent my firstborn to college far away, which was realllllllly hard! Today, after a year (seems like an eternity), here are my top ten mom-of-a-college-kid reasons to be thankful:
Top 10 Things College Parents Can Be Thankful For
I communicate with my son daily using this app. It’s his communication of choice, but better than texting too I get to see his handsome face, see where he is (based on background), see if he’s showered and sometimes, the added bonus of seeing who he’s with.
9. College daily blog:
My son’s school is really good about communication with parents. I signed up for a daily blog that covers important and insignificant details alike about life there. Sometimes I read it and sometimes I don’t, but it helps to feel connected.
[Read Next: What This Mom Learned About Grown Sons May Surprise You]
8. Travel alerts:
My son is far enough away that he has to travel by air to come home. Sure is nice when I get texts from the airline that his flight is delayed or has landed!
7. Long breaks:
I gripe about how few weeks my college kid is actually in school, especially for what we pay, but the upside of a long break is the opportunity for quality time and reintegration at home. His departure back to school is also easier because, frankly I’m ready for him to go!
6. Sibling Love:
My kids have always enjoyed each others’ company but there is no mom joy like the thrill of seeing them excited to have their college brother home.
[Read Next: Dear Older Sibling: What You Need to Know Before You Leave For College]
5. Learning to Adult:
Boys can be immature (shocking, I know) but it is truly awe-inspiring when I witness my son becoming a wonderful man. It’s like a chia-human: take a good kid, add some love, a nurturing university with interesting classes and opportunities, incredible friends and over time, BOOM!. He comes home a little more mature each and every time.
He’s growing up, but he still needs us, which is so nice. I am thankful to get phone calls asking for our input and advice (despite the initial pit in stomach when I see his number on caller ID) about everything from course selection to banking to fantasy football picks .
3. Find My iPhone:
Ok, this one is controversial, but I personally am thankful that every once in a while I can use Find My iPhone to check that my son is back in his dorm room after a late night out.
Sending my firstborn to college pushed me to the brink as a mom, both emotionally and logistically. The Grown & Flown Facebook Group gives me daily support and comfort. So much of the process, it turns out is universal and parents near and far provide so much comfort.
I don’t ever want to forget that sending a child to college is a HUGE privilege in and of itself. There are so many in this world who will never have such an incredible opportunity, and for this I am so very thankful.
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Barb Patrick is a wife, mom to three and quilting owner of Bitty Birdie Design in Newtown, CT, where she creates whimsical, sophisticated quilts and accessories from textiles she discovers from around the world. Any spare time is spent trying to exercise, see friends and read….but mostly she just consumes caffeine and turns off lights in the house and baby-talks to Pippa her snotty Boston terrier.