by Jessica Richmond
“You’re home schooled?!” That’s not possible. How are you so normal?” This was the typical response I received through my education. I loved being homeschooled because it gave me the opportunity to build really strong relationships with my sister and parents. My mother and I did everything together; we really built a community of friends for ourselves and were always busy with different activities. The only thing that really killed me about the whole situation was my mother’s face when she realized I would be leaving for college soon. That I would no longer be around for late night chats, running errands, coffee dates, or walking the dog. She was going to be an empty nester.
At first, I could see how scary the new situation was for my mother. Most of her friends were the parents of my friends and without those fun events bringing us all together; what would happen to those relationships? Some women moved out of her life and others moved in. It wasn’t until she made the conscious effort to call her old friends that I saw her smile change. It changed from a proud mother sending her kid off to college, to a women that had a group of women to lean on. Many of these women were going through the same exact situation and needed a friendly face.
I call every week from school and in the beginning it was very hard to make that change in both of our lives. As the weeks passed I would ask how she was and she would explain her coffee dates last week, their new double dates this week, and the incredible conversations and support she found in other women. But the best part of it all, she worked to build those relationships for no other reason than having fun, vibrant, supportive, incredible women in her life. They didn’t come easy, or overnight, but now I go to school with the peace of seeing her smile with her friends.