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FEATURES Jun 27 2014 7:56AM

Preparing My Son—& Myself—For His College Transition

This fall, my eldest son, Forrest, will be going off to college. I always knew this transition was going to happen, but not this fast. When Forrest, entered kindergarten, the school handed out parent handbooks that included a list of all of the students, their parent's names, addresses and phone numbers, all grouped by class. Since this was a nursery to 12th grade school, my son was in the Class of 2014. 
I remember my husband and I reading that at the time, it was 2001, and 2014 seemed to be so far away. And here we are. Forrest Gordon Price turned 18 on March 18, 2014, he graduated from Bay Ridge Preparatory School on May 30, 2014—and on August 21, 2014, my husband and I will be dropping him off at Hood College in Maryland, where he plans to major in Biology, with the hopes of becoming a Science teacher. 
And though I am extremely proud, I keep asking myself, "Where is my baby?" Now, I am not delusional or in denial, he is over 6 feet tall, he wears a size 13 shoe...he hasn't been a "baby" for a long time. But, for the past 18 years, I know where he is at night, I know what he eats every day, and I know what kind of soap he uses to wash his body (wink, wink). I don't understand how I am supposed to get up every day and not be able to see him. Forrest did go to a sleep-away camp for two summers. I was better by the second time. The first time, I was a mess. I am guessing this may be a bit like that. 
I look at my son every day now, preparing myself for the mornings I won't make him breakfast, the nights we won't sit up late, chatting and laughing. Getting used to him discovering who he is and what is his life. It is very exciting, but also scary. I have to let go or he won't be able to fly. I suppose the fact that I have two other children at home helps a lot, but he is still my Forrest—my first baby. The one who taught me how to be a mom and prepared me for his siblings. There is no one like him. 
My words to Forrest as he takes this new life journey: I love you, Forrest, and I know you are going to be great because you always have been. 


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