As the mother of three teenagers, I've been through a lot -- broken limbs, broken hearts, broken curfews. But nothing prepared me for the moment on the morning of Aug. 29, 2015 when I had to give a final goodbye hug to my oldest as he headed off to college. As I held him tight, I truly understood for the first time the emotions my own mother -- gone many years now -- must have felt when she wrapped her arms around me 32 years ago in the same situation.
Even now, so many months later, I often find myself in the midst of a tug-of-war that pits my desire to "mother" him against the necessity of letting go. And so while I've never been such an interventionist that I've called a college professor, I have been known to go online -- and, I admit it, pretty often -- to find out what the weather's like in the college town he lives in. That got me thinking: what do other parents of college kids do that they likely wouldn't admit to?
We asked our Facebook followers that question -- and here's what they had to say. Have anything to add? Let us know in comments.
1. "I read the local newspapers every day online. I don't pass along the info often, I just like to know what's happening, concerts, if the school is in the news and why. That sort of thing." -- C.D.
2. "I check out their social media -- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram -- for new photos and posts, without ever commenting." -- L.H.
3. "My husband often checks the webcams on campus where they have live streaming. He was/is always hoping to catch a glimpse of our kids, or at least, get a sense of what’s going on at school. But really, it's to catch a glimpse of the kids." -- M.S.
4. "I always have my daughter send me a schedule of her classes with days and times. So whenever I think of her I can know where she is, like in English class and that she gets out at 3:30. And then I will call her on her walk back to her apartment. She is at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and I am in Atlanta!" -- A.S.
5. "I send ridiculous amounts of food!" -- T.F.
6. "My daughter is a freshman. I send her a little decoration for each holiday. Something small to hang on her door or put on her desk. She loves holidays and likes the little surprises that I've sent." -- D.G.
7. "I check their Facebook status and call when they're online. I also friend their friends, if I can." -- D.L.
8. "I have two college kids and I printed out the yearly calendar of holidays and days off for both schools and taped them to my fridge, just so I can always know and remember what days they are off." -- D.P.
9. "I've been known to surreptitiously check the fridge in my kid's dorm room and, when he was at class, I stocked it with milk and healthy stuff." -- A.O.
Also on Huff/Post50: