Time for the Wise and Foolish Year

Sophomore –   compound of the Greek sophos, “wise” + moros, “foolish”

Our soon to be college sophomore has had a year of living alone, making big kid decisions and being away from the parentals. And as much as she seems grown, she is not. From experience, I know that she will still make foolish decisions.

But what  happens when we go all foolish?

We learn from it and become wiser.

It’s how we grow.

It’s a lifelong process.

I feel like a true sophomore parent.

In just a couple of hours our plane leaves for Texas to get Alli back to college for her second year.

This time last year, I was going crazy making sure everything was packed. I had lists and lists of items to remember and things to purchase once we got there. Emotionally, I was choking. I didn’t know what was ahead.  I was foolish. I was listening to the empty nest hype.

This year, I have no concerns. Alli is doing her own packing. I didn’t even make my usual excel spread sheet of items to carry. Larry had to remind me to get our boarding passes. (Which he so kindly did for me.) I really should be in the shower and have my bag packed, but instead, here I am writing! I feel some new form of parental wisdom.

So, do you see something here?

What sometimes comes off as wisdom is really just foolishness in disguise.

Bottom line, we are all sophomores in life.

Today, I feel so calm and okay with this next change, but I’ll probably have a nervous breakdown on Sunday when we say our goodbyes. Who knows?

Right now I’m going to seize the day and leave you with a link to a post from last year. It’s especially for those of you with first year college students.


Love to all,

Libby Lu


15 thoughts on “Time for the Wise and Foolish Year

  1. Great post libby! Hope you have a wonderful time 🙂 Hope to see you soon!!! and love the sophomore definition its all true!

  2. My daughter just stopped here at work to tell me bye. She has her car packed and is headed to Knoxville for her last semester. This is the first time I didn’t take off from work and I was doing really well…… then lunch time came….. and I read your blog. Now, here I sit at my computer sniffing and trying not to cry. I am so very proud of her and am amazed daily at how much she has grown and matured over the last 4 years. But I do want to tell you that it does get easier. I still feel kind of empty and lonely at times and miss her like crazy. But the sadness is not as severe and does not last as long. Each time that she leaves, it becomes a little easier to get back in the swing of life with my baby away at college. So hang in there…. remember what an amazing young lady she was when she headed out and she will only improve from there. …..and trust your parenting!

    • Day One of Empty Nest Season, Part 2, and I needed to hear this comment. Thanks for reading and for your words of wisdom! Hang in there! Yes, trust your parenting for sure! ☺

  3. Do you ever wish it were you – going off to college and having the world opening for you? Every year at this time, I wish I were packing for college…. at 61, I still yearn for it every year.

  4. Notquiteold—I agree, I want to pack and go to college too. There is so much wonder and potential, so many things to learn, people to meet, paths to walk. When Fall hits, I feel goose bumps, I remember getting my school outfits and buying school supplies–I LOVED the ritual of it all. Seeing friends, meeting teachers—I was so organizaed for those first few weeks—later……..not so much. 🙂

    My son is Jr at Trinity this year. I miss him dearly. He was only home for a few days this summer. He worked on diabetes research in CA. I miss the mix of personalities when he is here–I miss his humor and the rides I get in his convertable (what great kid to let his Mom ride in his convertible–wind in my hair– hands up in the air—music blaring!) I am so pleased he is comfortable in his world. I have to remind myself. The goal was to have him step into the world and to use the gifts God has given him to contribute to the world……thank goodness with luck, prayers, and grace, he is doing that. Lots of learning on the way–sometimes a slip or two—but it’s all about learning and getting up again and moving forward.

    I miss him terribly—and my husband and I look at each other and say, well, now what do we do?!

    I would love to hear what others are doing now that there are no more games, concerts, meets, parent teacher conferences. What sorts of things are you doing with your free time?

    Even though my heart misses him—-all is well with my soul.


    • Heidi,

      Thanks for sharing and for reading my blog. Glad your son is enjoying Trinity and had that great experience with diabetes research over the summer. Isn’t it great to see our kids doing so many cool things in their young life?

      Sophomore drop off was about 100% easier…just knowing how content our child is at TU and seeing first hand how many friends she has, etc.

      All is well!

      Again, thanks, and I hope we can meet at TU one day!


  5. Dear Libby,
    Read through (Speed Reading) most of your Blog starting August 2011.
    Really enjoyed it. Wholly agree with the ‘Dog for Every Empty Nest’ theory, but unfortunately Gurmeet an our Son Arnav (Working in NY at present) are allergic.
    Yes it will become easier to ‘Let Go’ as the years go by and Moms (Parents) will always remain the same. Thank all the Gods for that!.
    Will follow you on your journey. Speaking of journeys, if you enjoy Travel, Photography and Food, you may get a chuckle out of Anil’s Blog, ‘Cabbages & Kings & Everything Else’ , http://anil-bakshi.blogspot.in/.
    Hope Alli is doing great in at TU. All the best.
    Gurmeet and Anil Bakshi
    New Delhi, India

    • Hello Gurmeet and Anil!

      I see you often on Parent Talk. I hope that Arnav is doing well in NY. What an exciting life our kids live! Alli is loving TU and is very content, therefore, this Mom’s heart is happy. (btw, I loved your comment… Thank all the Gods for that!) I am looking forward to exploring your blog, Anil! I DO love travel, photography and food (and laughter, of course.)

      Thanks for reading my blog and for all of your input on the TU PT.


      • Thanks Libby,
        Arnav is doing well and is happy in New York. He will be coming home on vacation in late September, after 15 months.
        Nice to hear Alli is doing great. TU is a great school and our son had an absolute blast there and made lifelong friends, most of the ‘Play Hard, Work Hard’ (strictly in that order) variety, hopefully acquired a smattering of learning as opposed to education and became independent.
        We are sure you are already seeing that change in Allie. Your Blog will be of great import to many PT’ers.
        We have deliberately cut down on contributing to PT, as we do not wish to outstay our welcome, whatever ‘His Deanness’ might say to the contrary. Incidentally we conferred that title on him and it stuck. Anyhow, we specialised in tongue in cheek arguments, subversive humour and controversies, of which we see much less on PT.
        We will follow future episodes of your blog with great enjoyment.
        Have a Nice Day.
        Gurmeet and Anil

  6. It’s certainly one of life’s great ironies that the more your kids turn into great people to spend time with, the less time you have with them. I was surprisingly (I was surprised) sentimental when I took my daughter for her senior year — our last time. When I returned home other wiser parents quickly reminded me that there were plenty of other returns and departures ahead (at least departures): she will move somewhere after college. Probably more than one place. I stopped these people before they brought up the notion that someday she would get married and make a more permanent change. Hush!!!

    But I’m happy to be vicariously enjoying college life one more time. I read the daily announcements about all the activities on campus every day even though they may be of more interest to me than her — I like knowing she has all of it accessible to her. And I ordered a used textbook from one of her classes because she described it as being really interesting. Now we can discuss it at some point this semester. I’ll miss this when she graduates, so I’m going to try to be mindful and not miss out.


    • Hey Betsy,
      Thank you for reading.Like you, I’m loving this journey even with all the changes. Life is all about changes and how we deal with them is how we perceive them. Nothing wrong with us being in tune with our children, although I’m sure some of my friends would say I border on obsession. LOL. I also read the newsletters (I’m pretty sure Alli doesn’t.) and I hope to read some of the books she will read this year in English Lit. I stalk her FaceBook photos and laugh and smile at all the fun she is having. They are having the time of their lives and it’s great to be a part of it, even if from afar.
      Glad our gals know each other! Keep on enjoying each day.

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