My College:
Family Life

A Special Place in My Home and in My Heart

Elizabeth Spencer


Before she went back to campus for second semester, my college student sat in this chair and talked to me while I worked in the kitchen (a.k.a., my “home office”).

It was a lovely, unexpected conversation filled with looking back and looking forward…a belated Christmas gift to me.

My daughter is the only member of our family who ever sits in this chair. She once told me, “I love sitting here and talking to you while you cook.”

Now my student is sitting in other chairs…in college classrooms, at her dorm room desk, even in a new chair at her on-campus lifeguarding job.

Yet this chair in our kitchen waits for her, waits for next time.

This is the rhythm and the cadence of loving and parenting college, career, and military kids. They come and they go, and in between times, we hold space for them.

Space in our homes, space in our hearts. But this space is not empty, so much as it has room for what’s still to come.

Originally shared on CollegiateParent's Facebook page. Find more conversation and community in our College Parent Insiders Facebook group. Photo courtesy of the author.
Elizabeth Spencer is mom to two daughters (one teen and one young adult) who regularly dispense love, affection and brutally honest fashion advice. She’s been married for 26 years to an exceedingly patient guy she picked up in church. Elizabeth writes about faith, food and family (with some occasional funny thrown in) at Guilty Chocoholic Mama and on Facebook and Twitter, and is the author of Known By His Names: A 365-Day Journey From The Beginning to The Amen.
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