By: Rose Divecha

I’ve always loved September. Cool nights, warm sweaters and back to school. I’ve often thought of it has the official start to a new year. Anyone with kids probably does also. This year I look forward to it with mixed emotions. As I watch little ones trudge up the street weighted down by backpacks and stiff school uniforms I’ll be thinking of my youngest child attending university in a new city, excitement and nerves guiding her across campus. “How did this happen?” I can’t help but wonder, her first day of kindergarten still fresh in my head.

And like her first day of kindergarten, I’ll find myself hoping for many of the same things I did back then, like most parents do, as we send our children out into the real world for the first time, whether it be kindergarten or college, a new job or university. Things such as, “Please let her make just one friend” and, “Don’t let anyone take advantage of her kind nature” and most importantly, “I hope she makes wise choices.”

But unlike my daughter’s first day of elementary school, modern devices can now calm a nervous mother’s angst, at least to some degree. GPS tracking, doorbells with cameras and social media activity all allow us to “check in” with our children without actually being present. But does any of that really keep us from worrying any less, or does it actually do the exact opposite? I have to remind myself when I went off to college in the mid ‘80s, my parents had only my personal pledge to rely upon. One that promised I’d call home every Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm. I didn’t dare fall through on that guarantee. Now, one unanswered text has us moms conjuring up scenarios fit for a Stephen King novel.

So as many of us take a deep breath and prepare to let go this September, remember it could be a lot worse. We could be sitting at the kitchen table, watching the second hand move on the wall clock, while waiting for the corded phone to ring.