My son went off to college last fall. In many ways, it was the end of what had been a very long long distance co-parenting saga. He would turn 18 shortly after leaving for college. No more child support. No more wrangling school and travel stuff with my co-parent. We had reached the finish line.
In many ways, our relationship is changing in the same way most relationships between young adults and their parents change. He’s coming to a better understanding of how real, pressing and heavy adult responsibilities can be and he has, more than once, expressed gratitude to me for things I did in raising him or just adulting while raising him. I’m coming to a better understanding of him as a real adult person. I’m letting go of ‘parenting’ and getting my sea legs with just supporting and friending.
But in many ways, it’s become a different kind of long distance parenting relationship. My son is off to college about a day’s drive away and living in the dorms. He isn’t home in the afternoons or evenings after school and on breaks, he opts to go to his dad’s house where he has a job. So our interactions are brief texts, an occasional phone call and video chat, when I can talk him into it. Seems pretty familiar!