This week's episode of "Parenthood," titled "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities," allowed the season to really settle into its groove. The Bravermans are in full-on supportive family mode, finally giving us all of the heart-to-hearts, inspirational speeches, and familial advice we've been waiting for.
One of the fundamental goals and responsibilities for me as a parent for the last 21 years has been the notion of giving my children Roots and Wings. To raise them in a way that they feel they have a strong sense of self and of belonging and at the same time instilling in them through unconditional love, trust and respect the confidence to truly spread their wings and fly.
Just over a month ago, my oldest child left home for his freshman year of college. My husband drove him the four and a half hours it takes to get to Boston from our house. Since I had already visited the university twice -- and knew I'd find it tough to keep my emotions in check-- I didn't go. Instead, I cried.
After years of prepping, months of anxiety, and days of packing, we finally drove the 500 miles needed to drop our firstborn off at college. The car ride was long, and surprisingly quiet. Maybe it was my Fannie Flagg audiobook. (Really good!) Or maybe it was the alarm we all felt that one -- in our neat little family of five -- was about to flee the flock.
So maybe you're an empty nester for the first time, and maybe you're feeling a little nostalgic -- or maybe you're crying a river of tears that reaches from your living room to your kid's dorm. In the meantime, take a look at this list of 25 things that I haven't missed about being the parent of school-aged children.