My Baby Is Off To College…

Today’s 11th July 2016… My baby was flying off the nest…

My baby was leaving home for the first time in his young life.

Already the days were getting shorter, nature’s signal that everything must come to an end and begin again. It’s almost here — the freedom you have longed for all year and the day I’ve dreaded for months, perhaps, even, since the day you were born.

As a parent, I realise with a tinge of sadness that life is one long series of letting go: watching you crawls, then walks, then runs and then drives away.

For sure there will be the physical distance once you leave home, of course, but the emotional distance will hurt, too. In no time, you grow up and are absorbed by the world — by careers, friends and one day…wife.

Today went in blurry way. My horrible migraine didn’t help.

But I remember how your young cousins, your uncle (Ayah) and grandmother all packed up to send you off to college. Then I remember vaguely walking with you to do all paper work and registration procedures…

Then it was the time that I had to leave you behind.

The pain was almost as acute as the day I left you when you were just two months old in 1998. But I wouldn’t let you see me crying.

With heavy heart, I kissed you goodbye and told you to take care of yourself. And I remember crying so hard while trying to drive my car home without getting into accident…

I wouldn’t burden you with my tears. But I can barely write this now without laying my head down on my desk and crying for all the happy childhood memories that will never be experienced again and for all the things we meant to do but didn’t.

Remember this sayang… You are the greatest thing that ever happen in my life. Watching you learn and grow has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Now you will have one of the greatest experiences of your life my son…

When you were young, I taught you to tie your own shoes, fix your own sandwiches and eventually how to drive a car and do your own laundry.

It was a few times when I broke down and cry every now and again or go into your wardrobe in an attempt to feel closer to you.

My son, life will be far less fair than what you have experienced at home. Things don’t really even out in the end, and you don’t get what you deserve. Sometimes you get more. Sometimes less. You’re not entitled to anything except respect from others.

Don’t quit. Life does not reward natural talent or intelligence or beauty. You will be rewarded for a positive attitude, for your competence, but most of all, for your grit. Be fair to yourself.

Don’t be tolerant of disrespect.

I know you’ll be searching for your own answers as you learn to face the world on your own, but if you ever need an ear or a shoulder, have a question or a problem, I’m here. Always — no matter how far you go in distance or time.

Even adults reach out. It’s not a sign of weakness but of strength. Change comes more quickly and more dramatically. Enjoy every moment.

Remember baby, the day we cried in the car. The day my heart was ripped to pieces as I watched tears rolling down your cheeks. I could feel your pain. Your shattered dreams…

Nothing could possibly hurt a mother’s heart more than seeing her child was hurting and in pain.

And in my tears I kissed you and told you to pick up the pieces and go out there marching towards your goals. Be damned at those who wanted to see you down and failing for a very stupid reason – because you are my son.

Now is your chance to prove them wrong sayang. So very wrong. And I am with you all the way until the day when you are standing proud and tall because you are my son and just like me, you are made of strong stuff too. Possibly more. In shaa Allah. A

son