Leaving Home

The hidden costs of college have little to do with tuition

When your kid leaves home for college,
your emotions fall apart.
You can picture him in diapers.
You can see her tracing hearts.
You remember when he started
kindergarten, then first grade.
You could swear it was a week ago
she sold you lemonade.
There were Cub Scouts, ballet lessons,
Little League and soccer games.
There were sleepovers and campouts
roasting hot dogs on the flames.
There were Barbies, trucks and braces,
family trips to Disneyland.
It seems like only yesterday
you held that little hand.
Now that hand grasps a diploma
as that grown-up voice says “Bye…
I’ll be home for sure Thanksgiving.
What’s that leaking from your eye?”
It’s a bittersweet occasion.
You’re so proud this day has come.
But to see that empty bedroom
leaves you nauseous and half-numb.
It’s a heartache felt by millions
who have watched their children leave.
When you let go of the ones you love
you cannot help but grieve.