Things Change

As I send my oldest off to college,

I’m beginning a new series that will post throughout the year.

I’m calling it my Separation Anxiety Series.

All the separation goes to Kyle and I’m stuck with the anxiety.


 Love you—the text read.

And I was doing better too. Hadn’t cried in over 22 hours. My eyes were just to the point of deswelling and the gigantic gaping ache in my heart slowed to a smaller, more tolerable throb.

Kyle’s text negated all that.

Not that I didn’t want to hear from him, because I did. But knowing he was so far away—an unhuggable, unreachable distance—made me want to wrap my arms around him even more.

Things change. Time grows our children. Life opens up new doors. I know this. I expected this. I even wanted this.

But still—change hurts. Even when it’s good.

Last weekend, my husband and I moved Kyle, my oldest child, to college. Four hours away. It’s what’s supposed to happen. I birthed him, I raised him, I loved him, and now I let him go. It’s the clichéd natural order of things.

Only letting go is not that easy when you actually have to do it.

When you have someone in your life for eighteen years and you worry about him, pray and anguish over his relationships, his heart, and his health for 6570 days, 22 hours, 37 minutes, and 15 seconds, he’s kind of stuck to you. A part of you.

And that’s not easy to shake.

My role in Kyle’s life has changed. I know that. But it’s going to be a journey. At least for me. He’s having the time of his life and I’m glad.

I’ll let you know how it goes for me. I’m sure God has lots to teach me as I transition from hoverer to distant advisor.

Love you—I reread the text. Wiped away a tear. And straightened my shoulders.

Love you more—I texted back.

Some things won’t change and for that I’m grateful.

Have you ever have trouble letting someone go?


  1. Oh my goodness, Lori. I feel your pain. Thank God that he is alive and doing well.
    Think about all the good times, prepare for the wonderful visits that you both will share during holidays, okay?

    A great post!

  2. Oddly enough, “Love you more,” is a common phrase I reply with to my son as well. If he is independent enough to enjoy college so many miles away, it means YOU have done a great job of raising a son.

    Maybe sometimes we do out jobs too well. :)

  3. Oh how your blog brings back memories. About thirty years ago we were experiencing the emotional turmoil you all have gone through this past weekend. But the most difficult moments are still a few weeks ahead, when Kyle calls and you can hear homesickness in his voice. Everything in you wants to say “My baby. Come home right this minute.” But Mom, you’ll do the necessary thing and encourage him to stay even though you’d like nothing better than to dash out the door, fly up 35 and bring him back where you think he belongs. But he doesn’t. You and Pat have done an excellent job and he’s launched. “Like an arrow in the hands of a warrior.” Right on target.

    Blessings . . . DiAne

  4. Crying my heart and eyes out Lori. So many years have gone by and a mom’s love is such a powerful thing.
    Love to you dear momma.

  5. Can’t believe we’re at this point in our lives! Our babies are men! Getting ready to take Nate to FL next week- so sad he will be so far away! Wish we were together to share this milestone, cry, and drink coffee. Love and miss you. Give our best to your college boy!
    P.S. I love keeping up with your writing. Makes me feel like you’re not so far away :) – Judy

  6. Aw, shucks, Lori. I’m not even close enough to catch you for a commiserating lunch. I know it’s got to be hard for you.

    Perhaps when I get back from Pennsylvania?

    Yes. I’m still on my road trip. I head home early next week. I’ll let you know when I get home. Take good care.

  7. LuAnne Frolick |

    be glad you can get there by car. I have to fly to France to see where Brianna is going to be. She hasn’t responded yet about the news I am coming over to see her and my friend. I am going anyway because I want to know she is safe. Aix du Provence is gorgeous. We are flying into Nice to stay with my friend from Italy and taking trains or buses other places. Kyle has endured more in his short life than many children have. This move should be a piece of cake. not for you but for him. My girl friend’s daughter was 7 hours from home , got terribly homesick is now in a college one hour away from home. She is the same age as Brianna, Her mother is going to France with me. I met her when I lived in Italy in 1984. love all of you.

  8. Oh how it hurts, those leaving kids. I just dropped off my daughter for her sophomore year. It does get easier, but it still hurts.

  9. I refuse to think about how I will feel in a few years when my boys leave the nest. I still remember crying when I dropped them off at kindergarten! I can only imagine the mixture of pride at your son launching into the world and heartbreak that he won’t be near you. Keep your washing machine ready. I hear that’s how many moms attract their college-aged boys back home for a visit.

    • Lori Freeland |

      Kyle does his own laundry but I’m sure there will be plenty of other things he needs when he comes home to visit!

  10. Wow. It will be many years before I’m facing this. I did have to say goodby for a weekend Boy Scout trip though. Does that count? I wasn’t teary abot it though. Too busy running after the other two.

  11. Thank you! This is so wonderful to find just now. My daughter is starting her senior year in high school and we are deep in the college admissions process. Any words of wisdom for enjoying this last year with her at home and just thoughts on choosing the best fit for her? We have a very strong faith and know God already is preparing the way for her and will lead us to the school He wants her to go to.

    • What surprised me the most was actually how fast senior year flew by. So many things to do and prepare and choose. I would have had more “dates” with my son. One on one fun times doing things we liked. I miss him so much now. Going to ORU was a last minute decision and we struggled over the finances but just felt like he needed to get out on his own. Pray now and God will be faithful in His leading. That I can promise. And next fall, if she leaves, we can cry together because I have been there!

  12. This post hit home! My son is a sophomore in college and I took my daughter to college–eight hours away!!!–on August 15th. I had cried so many times in anticipation, since January. My heart just plain hurt. Even though I knew it was the “right” thing, the way things are supposed to be, it hurt. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was to drive away the next day…and it was harder yet when she called, very homesick.

    “Mom, why didn’t you tell me Colorado was so far away?” she asked. I laughed through my tears as we’d discussed it many times, of course. Thankfully she got over her homesickness and loves college now, and I’m sure Kyle will as well. And we will move on to the next stage of our lives too.

    Here’s a song guaranteed to make you cry–but shows how God’s plan for our kids is played out. “Let my love give you roots, and help you find your wings.”

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