There’s a thing about leaving your child somewhere you won’t be… somewhere they’ll sleep and eat and live and do homework and flop down after long days and maybe (hopefully) miss you from time to time.

There’s something about the separation.

We get the question why we go at the beginning of the college year to settle them in. “Haven’t you paid your dues?” “Aren’t they past the age where they need your help setting up their room?” (Read in best sarcastic tone.)

We see both swings of society’s parental pendulum, don’t we?

Helicopters who take care of everything, step into everything, have little purpose outside of their children’s lives.

Removed parents who want their kids to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and figure it out. “Toughen ‘em up,” they say. They have little purpose inside of their children’s lives.

There’s a middle ground… where we know our kids would be “fine” on their own, but also know we can add value in their learning… making sure where they are is safe, life-giving and rich enough soil for them to grow healthier while they’re away from the farm.

We taught them how to do their laundry years ago, make their own Mac-n-Cheese, get their own gas. They don’t need us for those things.

But maybe we both need each other for something different… something that brings a mutual settling and peace.

So, yes. We still go. We’re not “paying dues.” We’re paying forward into a future where our kids know they have our support as they grow into healthy, fruit-bearing vines. And we’re ensuring a deeper peace for us as we scope out the solidarity of their home-away-from-home.

It’s the middle path we’ve chosen, and I sleep better at night in an empty house because of it.

As we approach another fall and yet another beginning, which side of the pendulum do you find yourself on? Where is your middle ground? What approach have you taken in the past? Are there changes that could bring deeper health for you and your child?

Because every choice in the present is feeding a future… both yours and theirs.


  • Angela White

    Leadership Developer (…and a real woman living real life)


    I’m an everyday woman walking with purpose and vision to live a full & healthy life. With my hot hubby and four crazy kiddos (all adults now), we’ve found grief and gratitude, brutal and beautiful can co-exist. My life mission is to equip & empower others to live in their strengths and gifts, finding full freedom and joy while not taking it all too seriously.

    I’m a skincare & cosmetic consultant and business coach with a long-standing leader in the direct sales industry, helping others find not only solutions, but the ability to dream again. (We’ve lost that in our culture, yes?)

    You’ll find me laughing with family, singing with guitar in hand, discussing self and organizational leadership tools, soaking at a silent retreat (I help host them), pushing power cleans at CrossFit, treasure hunting through thrift stores or delivering a passionate diatribe on how all of life relates to Narnia and Star Wars.

    Life is meant to be lived in full color, arms linked with those who make you better. There are always seats at my table to help discover that.