Well, the time has come. He’s leaving. He’s packed. You’ve filled out all the enrollment paperwork, medical forms, FASFA, You’ve booked flights. You’ve pre-ordered all the big stuff closer to campus. There’s nothing left but to send him off. He’s ready but you’re not. I know. Breathe. He is equally as scared, excited, sad, anxious (insert emotion), but he may or may not show it. I want
to assure you, the build up to him leaving is WAY worse than him actually being gone. I promise. Don’t get me wrong, you will be sad. But it’s different. Yes, you’ll be lost for a while. That’s normal. I called a friend while in the grocery store, for the first time shopping only for myself, I didn’t even know what to buy. What do I even like? I lived my life for my son for so long I didn’t even know who I was. Do I even eat? What do I do when I don’t have a tournament to be at on the weekends? Or games on Friday nights? Or coaches calls every weeknight? WHO AM I???? It will take time to get back to who YOU are or even reinvent yourself and that’s fine. Enjoy every minute of it.
What to expect on report day: Usually the coach that recruited him and maybe his position coach ( if they’re not the same person) will be there when he shows up. In our case it was the coach that recruited him, his wife and their kids. But keep in mind no one is back on campus yet. Most students are still on Winter break. You will get him moved in, they will drop off his gear or he may get that when he reports to Winter conditioning. You may hang around and visit for a while depending on how you set it up. And as well as you have prepared there will be things he needs that you might not have thought of, so plan a Wal-Mart run in your schedule at some point to get anything you guys forgot. But come Monday morning, he will hit the ground running. He’ll get his student ID card and keys to the facilities and start workouts.
If you don’t hear much right away, don’t panic. He will be so busy. Remember, he’s never had a real schedule to follow on his own before. He will be at the football facility from
6am until 8pm at night. “Doing what!?” you ask, well they have morning lift, breakfast, team meeting, position meeting, study hall, lunch, afternoon lift, treatment, offensive meeting, defensive meeting, dinner, homework… oh, and class! They’ll fit class in there somewhere. He will be exhausted, overwhelmed and figuring it all out in the next week or two.
But I promise when you talk to him he will sound different. It’s like something changes, he sounded more confident and sure of himself. He sounded like he didn’t miss me. He sounded like, well, a MAN. Ugh, can you hear my heart breaking? This was the goal, remember? To make him a fully functioning decent human being. A (dare I say it) MAN. You did it. It’s so bitter sweet though. Breathe.
My suggestion, have trips planned ahead to see him. Like the Spring game (usually in April). I always felt better when I had a solid date I was going up for a visit. It gave me something to look forward to. Also get familiar with FaceTime or video chat if you’re not already. Set up a time to chat weekly or whatever works for you guys. This will help to put your mind at ease. Lastly, ENJOY THE RIDE mom. You both worked really hard for this. You should enjoy this next phase in life as much as he is.
Hang in there. I’m here if you have questions.
Everything will unfold just how it should. It always does.
Vocabulary to know
Winter Conditioning– This is weightlifting and basic conditioning workouts before the regular season begins.
FASFA– Free Application for Federal Student Aid -This is your financial aid application. The school counselor will help with filling this out and will have a FASFA rep on campus to help as well. Get with your counselor as soon as possible on this.