Why You Want To Leave Me?

So my son leaves Friday for college (I might have mentioned this here and on Facebook maybe).

Just wondering what other Old Timers whose kids are at college or previously were attending did to keep in touch (and game). Did you just occasionally call and text or did the kid(s) actually make time to game with the Old Timers?

Hoping this isn’t the end of our gaming fun… :sweat:


Going through this right now with my son. We both gamed a lot together and I had this notion it might continue when he was at school. Between the Air Force and Duke he has zero time. So when he is home on break we game. It is his mind clearer. We pick something we both want to do and make an effort to play together. This summer it was ESO.

His mother and I have made it very clear that at a minimum we expect him to FaceTime us once on the weekends every week. He does this. Usually he is multi-tasking while he does it, but he has us there. He tends to ignore email and picks up any time we call (and we do not call him much to keep that line open). Right now he is in Field Training for 2wks in Alabama in August. Ugh. They took his phone and we are worried.

My daughter went to school on the west coast and got a job in San Francisco. We are in MD. While in school she would face time us the expected once a week. But since she has graduated and moved into a job, she calls us as she walks home every night from work. We look forward to it. Also she and I have this thing where we FaceTime during Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise to just make fun of the show and catch up. I am pretty sure both of us do not think much of the show but we look forward to the laughs we have. The point in bringing her up is she seems to be more involved in contacting us.

The really hard thing here is your life’s focus which has been so intimately and intensely been involved with your school age kids now once again returns to each other. For us it has been like we are dating again, pre-kids. We just got a new puppy though, and I can say if you want to have something dominate your attention 24/7, a puppy fits the bill.


We are going through this with our one and only daughter, We FaceTime once a week (all 3 of us), and slowly, but surely, the calls have increased and are more relaxed. She doesn’t game and neither does her dad, but sometimes she’ll FaceTime either him or me, she’ll make tea, we make coffee, and we just sit and talk, and sometimes, just sit. She might study, while he reads, but there’s still a connection.


Yeah we’re having a hard time. It’s really hitting us that our life and our focus is about to change massively. Not really sure how to handle it. Also, my wife is allergic to pets (which sucks as I grew up with many pets being the son of a veterinarian). People have mentioned the dating thing but it’s only been the last 2-3 years my son has been with us full-time (he lived with his mom before that) so it’s not like it’s been 18 years for us… but the last 2-3 have of course been very intense so still going to be a hard adjustment. :sweat:

Sounds like you have some great kids there though. :smiley:

Sounds nice. :smiley:

Guess we’re going to have a discussion about FaceTime lol


It’s a challenging transition, that’s for sure! Our daughter attended college 2 hours from home, so she wasn’t far. I don’t recall details, but we maintained contact and it became more frequent as she matured into her young adult self. Establishing a flexible weekly check-in/game time is a good start. But I’d say reach out anytime your parental gut instinct is overwhelming. The scariness and worry lessens over time.


Our son is a 3 hour drive away - if we don’t stop, with my bladder that is impossible lol - and there are plenty of people from this area he can catch rides with and buses on the hour. We could get up there easily and him come home… but I of course want him to have a life there and his focus should be on his academics, activities, and social life there.

It’s nice we have texting now so that any time… within reason… we can check in. Going to try and not over do it. The school is actually very good about helping the students and keeping families in the loops so it should be fine but still going to be hard for us. Good advice though, thank you!


I can’t echo this enough.

Be sure to focus on each other. That loss and hole you are feeling because the focus of your life for the past 18 years is not in arms reach? Your spouse feels it too.

You can help each other fill some of that empty space and time. You NEED to help fill that empty space. You are both going to find some way to fill it – you want it to be with each other.

Every parent before you has managed somehow to survive the kids leaving home. Not every couple has survived it.

There was a time when it was just you two before the kid(s) became the center of your world; when the only person in the world you wanted to see happy was your spouse. You don’t need to go ALL the way back there, since the offspring will always be important to both of you, but moving back down that road a ways can help you both a lot, I think.

Since the wife passed the biggest thing I miss is that no one else is happy to hear me yammer on and on about how proud I am at one of my kid’s latest accomplishments. That enthusiasm for your children is something you share with no one else in the world. You need it and your spouse needs it too.


I remember when my youngest went to college. I spent several hours on campus with him on that first day of student orientation and while he was in a seminar, I was in the school office looking into going back to school myself.

But for the interim period we did speak on the phone most weeks, usually one night he had a break from his campus job and study time. Fairly irregular, but often enough to keep in touch comfortably. Then I arrived on campus the following January to start my own education.

Was interesting that we were going to the same school at the same time for different study paths but ended up with some of the same instructors. I felt sorry for them once they realized there were actually two of us on campus as students.

But I digress. After that we just managed to have lunch or dinner together at least 2-3 times a week and his friends became my friends too, as there was only one other adult student on campus and she and I just happened to have different schedules.

But I found it oddly comforting that my son was becoming independent and I did not worry about him as much. We both tend to share an independent streak so it was not difficult for us to find our own ways.

Once I was totally on my own, I filled my time with my clay and other art projects so I can’t really speak to the family orientation those of you are experiencing. I can relate to the vacuum left once your child goes off to college though.


I’ll respond shortly but we leave tomorrow morning and have been madly packing and getting things done… including TWO trips to the DMV to get his state ID… and a trip to the social security office after the DMV said there was a problem with his SS card. FUN! :open_mouth:

My wife and I have been bursting into tears (not in front of him). It is really going to be hard for us but we are happy and proud and so excited for him.

It’s been worse since I was going through my desk and found an old “I love you” note he wrote as a child to me and with it was a fortune that read “You are the guiding star of his existence.” :sob::sob::sob:

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This thread has been a good read for me. I have worked in higher ed for 16 years as a professor and an academic advisor. I see all sides. But having such supportive parents is so important.

Some advice from on the inside:

Encourage your student to use those campus resources. More often than not, you pay for them so go to tutoring, counseling, supplemental instructions, writing lab, etc…

Edit: I highly recommend two books. One is Letting Go: A Parents Guide to Understanding the College Years or The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only.

I disagree with the title of the first - we never let go, we learn to hold on but in different ways.
Tell them to get involved. All the data show that connected students are more likely to persist and graduate.

Tell them to meet with their advisor. Work on a plan of study and to take a balanced load of courses.

And I tell parents at my university at orientation that they have known their student for 18 years and I have known them for maybe 30 minutes. They know if something is wrong, they hear that tone in their student’s voice…if that happens call me and let me know you are worried. Or call the Dean’s office or some other office. I will get them in and meet with them.

I also tell our parents that the 4 years won;t be smooth, things won;t be perfect, mistakes will happen, challenges will arise. But let’s partner together and in the end we all want the same things…

we want your student to graduate…in 4 years…with as little debt as possible…in the major that suits them…get them gainfully employed…so they can take care of us in our old age. :slight_smile:

I recommend two books: Letting Go - A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years and The Nake Rommate - Parents Only


Still EXHAUSTED from the drive up, unloading, set up, and drive back Friday. Both emotionally and physically. Friends invited us out to dinner Saturday night and pushed ourselves to go and then got brunch and ran some errands on Sunday. Most of the rest of the time was sleeping or zoned out in front of the TV. We both did some crying, mostly her but me some. I haven’t been as upset once we had him settled in his room and he was was off to the start of an event being held over the weekend… but it is still hard…

I had an illogical moment of emotion over a rice krispy treat at the Barnes & Noble Cafe this weekend. :scream:

Told him he should of course focus on studies, clubs/activities, socializing and fun but if he finds some time to game… let his old man know. And he replied with: :sunglasses:


An update if anyone is still reading…

Past weekend was hard. During the week at least we’re busy with work and we come home and are pretty tired. Have texted my son a little to check on things he needed or we sent (like books for classes) and he called my wife for laundry help last week which made her day. But the weekend with all that time on our hands… especially when weekends really revolved around family meals and activities and scheduling around (or helping with) homework is tough and my wife ended up crying at one point which got me going and then vice-versa at another point.

Started talking about maybe taking some cooking classes together or going to some meetups at our local gaming cafe (she isn’t into RPG/CCG like me but might try the board games) so there is that. Guess over the long holiday weekend we will talk more about stuff and see what we will do with our new routine (or lack thereof).

Or we might just binge watch TV all weekend out of exhaustion!

Did speak to my son last night as we had to check up on a couple things including if he wants to come home for the four day Rosh Hashanah weekend at the end of September… and he… said…



Looks like good weather to go for a bike ride this weekend

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