College drop-off tears short lived

I can't help but chuckle at all the recent social media posts from parents dropping off their freshman kids at college. Could you people be any weepier? Come on! It's not like they're moving to the other side of the world and disowning you forever.

I can laugh, of course, because I'm past that point in my life. I can also laugh because back in the day there was no more blubbering parent on the face of the earth than yours truly. As for my kids, they were just fine. In fact, one of them openly laughed at me and my wife as we drove away in tears.

Say what you will about today's youth, but they're pretty darn resilient. And despite our not hovering over their shoulders, they're pretty good at taking care of themselves, too. That isn't to say that we didn't get the occasional homesick phone call. But in this day and age, you can communicate with your kids pretty much any time of the day or night. Whether they want to is another story. But rest assured, if they need something, you will hear from them.

When I was in college, there was no texting, email or social media (thank God). Communication with my parents consisted of a once-a-week phone call, usually on Sunday mornings when the long-distance rates were the cheapest. With raspy voice and eyes barely open from the inevitable "studying" I did the night before, I would give them a rundown of my week. After those three minutes were up, I'd hear about what the rest of my family was up to. I knew my dad was silently calculating the cost of the call, so it wasn't long before we said our goodbyes and looked forward to another stimulating conversation the following Sunday.

My point is, I was fine and your kids will be, too. What's better, you will be fine. Oh, you'll be sad for a little while with the quiet house and empty bedrooms.

But before too long, you'll find yourself eating whatever you want, going out to dinner at the spur of the moment or going for a 6 o'clock jog after work. The TV is all yours and the Wi-Fi will work exponentially faster without five cell phones and a couple of laptops fighting for broadband.

Make no mistake, it's awesome when the kids come back home. We look forward to it every time. But when it's time to say goodbye, let's just say there aren't as many tears. Mostly because we know they'll be OK. But just a little bit because we know we can go back to eating cold pizza and Doritos for dinner.

- John Bourjaily of Golfview Hills is a contributing columnist. Readers can email him at [email protected].