When you raise your children to dream big, you have to be willing to accept the consequences.

We have always supported our sons as they pursue their dreams. So when our younger son — who turns 18 on August 25th — decided as a junior in high school that he wanted to pursue acting in New York when he graduated, I helped him research schools and prepare paperwork, and we even took him to visit schools and to audition.

As he prepares to leave for school, I’ve focused on being excited for him and all the activities once we get him to New York City.

Until last night.

As I snuggled into bed, I suddenly saw him on the subway alone.

And it hit me.

I’m not going to be there.

If he has a problem, I’m won’t be there to help. I’ll be 737 miles away.

“He can’t go,” I told my husband. “He’s too young.”

My husband chuckled.

“Yeah.” See, he knew this all along.

I’ve been in denial, and, of course, everyone knew but me.

But my son leaves in two weeks.

It was hard enough to encourage our older son to go to film school in Florida when he was 20. He has since graduated and is home for a short time while he applies to jobs in the industry. He’s setting his sights on California — but I’m pushing for New York so he can be with his brother. Somehow it seems easier to handle if they’re on the same coast.

But that doesn’t change the fact that — on my 44th birthday — I will look out the back window and watch my baby get smaller and smaller as we drive away and leave him in the city that can either make all his dreams come true or eat him alive.

It’s gonna be a long drive back to Indiana.