The son is back at college

I took Dylan back to college yesterday. It was a long day of driving—about 3 hours each way.

It wasn’t as much fun as it was when I brought him home the other day. Yesterday started out with tears and ended with tears. We had some fun in between but I could tell he was progressively getting more agitated the closer we got to school.

His stomach started acting up again the closer we got to campus, too. That really wasn’t fun because simply being in the car was making him nauseous.

I know he misses home a lot. I know he misses the cats. And most of all, I know J’s cancer diagnosis also weighs on him a great deal, more than he even says.

It’s so tough knowing what to do. I know that he really wants to succeed in college and I also know that he’s pushing himself really hard, too. I can see the struggle within him; it’s written all over his face and in his body language.

He was so relaxed at home. It was really nice getting to see the “old” Dylan back that I used to know.

He said today that he really needs me to give him encouragement to keep going, so that’s what I’m going to do.

In that regard, I really don’t want to be like my mom was when I was in school. Anytime I said I was struggling, she always told me I could drop out. I didn’t want to drop out though. I wanted—needed—some help, especially since I had 3 young kids at the time.

And I also wanted some encouragement that I could do it, even though it was hard. She never really gave me any; instead, she just offered that I could quit.

I would hate to think that Dylan feels the same way I did, so I’m making an effort to be more encouraging and be his cheerleader.

It’s tough because the stress of it all is really taking a toll on his physical and mental health. I want to rescue him from that because I’ve seen the long-term effects of what living with chronic stress has done to J. I don’t want another person I love to succumb to the same thing.

I can’t tell him to quit. But I honestly feel a bit like he’s playing with fire and maybe he doesn’t know it. He’s putting so much pressure on himself to succeed. And I know that he’s definitely capable of it but at what cost?

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