Wow…back to school res­onates quite dif­fer­ently for me this year. Last year, I was shuf­fling my triplets off to their first year of col­lege, so it was a time of great an­tic­i­pa­tion and angst. I wor­ried so much about them. Would they like their col­leges? Would they make friends? What would their room­mates be like? So many questions were on my mind, but the sim­ple truth was that I had zero con­trol over any of it. More­over, this wasn’t about me. They were go­ing out on their own and they’d fig­ure every­thing out.

I also an­tic­i­pated the empty nest syn­drome, but I caught a bit of a break in that my brother and his wife stayed with us for a while as they were tran­si­tion­ing to a new home. I hap­pily did not come home to an empty house ev­ery day.

What I hadn’t thought about at all was the way I would be in­stantly out of the loop on what was hap­pen­ing in town. I didn’t have younger kids who were still in the school sys­tem, so I was im­me­di­ately re­moved from the seem­ingly end­less email chains that came from ad­min­is­tra­tors, teach­ers, par­ents’ or­ga­ni­za­tions and coaches. No com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Noth­ing. Nada. Zip. And that’s both good and bad. Sure, it was a re­lief not to com­plete all of the com­pul­sory pa­per­work that ac­com­pa­nies any new school year. That was my job when the girls were in the pub­lic schools. Now that they are le­gal adults and in col­lege, the re­spon­si­bil­ity falls on their shoul­ders. But, it also meant that I was cut off from the in­for­ma­tion stream. I would see some things posted in so­cial me­dia, but there was a dis­con­nect. Par­ents and friends I would see at prac­tices, games, con­certs and other school-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties seemed to eva­po­rate. It’s just the way things are. As the kids move on, so do the par­ents. Now, my hus­band and I are making a con­certed ef­fort to rekin­dle some friend­ships that may have lan­guished over the school years. We have more time to get reac­quainted with old friends who fell off of our radar. It’s a whole lot of fun to get to know child­hood and col­lege bud­dies again. So this year, it is one of con­fi­dence for the girls and for us. I know I’ll get some pangs when they’re back at col­lege, but I will also have some new ad­ven­tures of my own. And, one thing is for sure – they can man­age just fine with­out me! They will be re­turn­ing sopho­mores who know the lay of the land. When the last one trots off just af­ter La­bor Day, I will take a deep breath and em­brace what lies ahead. Hmm. Maybe I’ll en­roll in a class my­self. I al­ways wanted to learn to speak Italian.

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