today. {mom of a college freshman}

tomorrow before it is fully light outside, we will all seven pile into the SUV with the little trailer attached, and we will become road-warriors, taking our first arrow to his newest mark.  i will wrap my arms around the chest that’s now as high as my face, and i will bury myself there for a moment.  i’ll hold him just as long as he will let me (and i think i’m spoiled – it’s longer than most boy-men his age), and i will thank my Papa for the privilege of watching him grow this far.  i’m officially a mom of a college freshman, and two days from now, it will be move-in-day.


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i will watch him walk the aisle and sign the history book of his college of choice, and i will see his life begin to meld with the lives of a new community, where he will hopefully soak in Truth and plant it as well, as together a body of students and instructors seek Wisdom in age-old books and “new” research.  (and i’m betting i will glimpse his feeling too big for his britches, as my grandma would say, and also that i will notice him shaking in his boots a little.  because i can relate to all-at-once feeling so big, and so small.)


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i’ll go back to our hotel and i’ll smile at the other four, some of whom will be more transparent in their trepidation at leaving the biggest somewhere new and strange.


central park boy senior portrait photographer angela sackett


i’ll put my head on a strange pillow and try to calm the questioning thoughts, the ones that say i didn’t do enough, i didn’t teach enough, i didn’t pray enough.  the ones that wonder if he will be “safe” as he spreads his wings.  if he will make the “target,” if he will fly straight, if he will leave Grace in his path.


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i will pray, as always, that he will treat women and children and old people (and ok, everyone, really) with kindness and respect.  that he will not be swayed by what the world tells him is acceptable, but will be driven by what his Father whispers is Loving.  that when things are hard, he will run first to Him, and then always feel freedom to come to us, but that along the way there will be those around him who will offer wisdom he can trust.  i will hope he studies hard, and sleeps, and eats green stuff, and makes memories and learns all he can in this time.  that he honors his team and makes his profs proud and above all, that he will point others to the One who made him.


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and i will know, as i already do, that likely he will lose a few feathers, that his path may meander.  i will be reminded (thanks to a few wise friends who speak truth gently and firmly to my mama-heart) that i haven’t done enough.  or prayed enough.  taught enough.  or been enough.  and that is the beauty of Grace… that God is full of it, and He knows we have to depend on Him to fill in the gaps.  one sweet sister said, “this is where you get to see God be big.”  and this is my desire – that where i am small, the One who made us will be big – and especially in the lives of the ones He has entrusted me to love.


and isn’t that true about all of life?  it’s when we come to the end of “me,” that we see what is bigger.  so after i hold tight to this tall one who still has much growing ahead (and oh, so do i!), i will open my arms and i will send him off.  i’ll be praying for every opportunity to embrace him again along the way.  i’ll be praying that he listens for Truth and acts in Love.  and i will be thankful for the moments leading up to today – the day the first one takes flight.


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11 Comment

  1. Reply
    Sally shuffler
    August 13, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    My mummy’s heart wished It could have articulated my feelings like you did! I think every mom share the same feelings. Well said! Blessings to you and your family.

    1. Reply
      August 27, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      THANK YOU, sally! aren’t we so blessed to raise them up and send them off??!! there is a bitter-sweetness in that… thank you so much for chiming in to share, as well. blessings to you!!

  2. Reply
    August 13, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    This blog made me cry as it is also hard for his aunt to believe he is old enough to go to college. Many prayers & hugs sent to him as he begins this journey. I know it can be terrifying to start a new chapter in a new place. Love you all!

    1. Reply
      August 27, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      kendra… i remember when YOU were starting college… such a brave adventure, no?! thank you for the prayers AND hugs… love you much!

  3. Reply
    Theresa Mulhern
    August 14, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Angela, that was beautiful!
    I was in your shoes at this time last year.
    We’ll be taking my son Isaac back to college this Saturday. Hopefully it will be easier on my husband and I this time.
    Glad we were cabin mates at RETREAT!

    Blessing to you and your family. Have a safe trip!

    1. Reply
      August 27, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      theresa, i will be praying for YOUR isaac!! you left such a mark on my life in such a short time – must catch up!!

  4. Reply
    Dawn L
    August 14, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Angela, as always, you so eloquently put the feelings and heart of every mom together so perfectly. He is a great young man of God, b/c he has had you as his Mama. You have done such an amazing job with all your babies! We miss you here in Fl. I know he’s gonna do great and you will, too. My prayers are with you all this weekend as you struggle through this rite of passage for him. <3

    1. Reply
      August 27, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      dawn, your prayers are such a sweet gift, and i’m returning it right back as i pray for you all! miss you, our florida family so much, even as we embrace the new memories He has us making here in NJ!

  5. Reply
    maria loder
    August 14, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Angela, I sent this a dear friend going through the same thing as you, her oldest, a son, it going to college. Beautifully written and touching. Much love to you!

    1. Reply
      August 27, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      oh, maria, i hope this can encourage her – send her the link! many hugs to you, dear friend… and much love!

  6. Reply
    September 1, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Your mother’s heart shines through. I’m so glad that no matter where our kids go, they can never go further than God! Keep praying! I know I certainly got through some times because I knew my Mama was praying for me!
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