©2015 Melissa Tamberg-Heffron, as first published on Scary Mommy

It’s that inevitable time of year again. Social media is ablaze with tear-stained posts by melancholy moms whose graduating matrics have just marched enthusiastically across the the finish line to … total independence.

Sniff.

Last year, it was me suffering a case of postpartum depression 18 years in the making, as my firstborn prepared to venture to university halfway across the country on a scholarship. In fact, the day before Tanner left Southern California for South Dakota, I posted a sappy picture on Facebook featuring a slew of burgeoning suitcases lined against his bed. This prompted some (older, wiser, clearly been-there-done-that) mom to comment about how “exciting” this new phase of Tanner’s life would be. I won’t pretend I wasn’t confused by the remark, if not more than a bit offended. Excuse me? How was this exciting? Well for him maybe! Certainly not for me. My baby was … leaving!

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Trust me, moms, summer will be gone faster than you can say “Finish your vegetables”. And it ain’t gonna be pretty. By all means, buy the jumbo boxes of Kleenex. Absolutely double-book your calendar to keep yourself occupied those first few weeks he or she will be gone. But then take heart – because the good news is, when your kid goes away to university, in many ways, nothing changes.

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