Friday, August 1, 2014

Off to College

It's that time of year again. Millions of parents are scrambling to rush their teenagers off to College. It can be one of the most emotional times of life. It's like a bad vacation and great birthday all rolled into one. Here is this life that still seems so young walking away from you into the unknown. Thoughts of baby bottles, pacifiers and dirty dippers wrestle with the pride and anxiety. Not only for the child you nurtured and watch grow to this point. There is the matter of your own uncertainty. What are we to do now that we don't have this daily purpose any longer? No mandatory meals to prepare, no more excessive laundry to fuss over. Take my word for it. The purpose is still there, it just shifts to a whole new direction.

I'll never forget the moment as long as I live. I knew my daughters ambition and her dreams. I secretly
wished they would disseminate somewhere over the vast blue. My husband and I encouraged her to pick somewhere close to home. She was our pride and joy. She is smart, ambitious, talented and beautiful. I wasn't ready to let her go. Then the expected notice came in the mail the week before Halloween. That dreaded piece of paper I had feared. We were all three sitting at the dinner table when the announcement was made. Our little angel had been accepted into the college of her dreams some 800 miles away. I am proud of her so I held back the tears, for now. I remember sitting in the kitchen floor crying my eyes out a month later. We were decorating the house for the holiday. That is where my husband found me and ask what the matter was. All I could blubber was "she won't be here to help me put up decorations next year". He hugged me tightly and assured me he would still be there.

After that we were off to the races. The circus had begun and would end all too soon. The deposit was down on her dorm room, she had picked out her classes and an unbelievable amount of supplies were purchased. Not just the paper and pens, but bed sheets, a vacuum and dorm furniture I never new existed. A list was supplied to us of things that could not be brought along. No open burner items were allowed which meant she couldn't take a coffee pot; she couldn't even take her George Forman grill (a graduation gift). She had to have a months worth of groceries (thank god she likes ramen) that are easy to cook in her microwave, and cleaning supplies. The laundry container and bed linens had to match, which had to match the storage containers that slid under her bed.

When an invitation to "Parents Day" showed up my heart almost stopped beating. The months of trying to convince myself this wasn't going to happen came crashing down on me. Still, I was grateful. We'd get to meet her teachers, see her room and cruise all the haunts that she would call home for the next four years. The car was packed with barely enough room left for my daughter to sit in the back. She squeezed herself in and never complained once. I think she knew better. The drive was quiet and somber. When we reached our destination my first impression was how beautiful the area is. There are green rolling hills, beautiful tress and quaint houses. After checking in to the dorm we unloaded all of the supplies. There were schedules of activities handed out for the parents and a separate one for students. I didn't want the weekend to ever end. We strode from activity to activity frequently meeting up with my daughter who joined us. Back at the dorm room after the first day of activities my daughters' newfound independence surfaced with a determination. I tried not to look hurt when she refused my help setting up her dew digs. It was her room and she would decorate it the way she wanted. I had to accept her insistence with resolve. After all, it surely didn't mean she would never need me again.

The weekend ended with a festive celebratory dinner for parents, students and staff. I can't even recall what was served. I was roaming around in am emotionally distraught daze. The next morning I would leave my precious child behind and travel home to sit in her empty bedroom praying that God is watching over her every minute just as I would if she would walk into the kitchen and flash one of those twinkling smiles that always melted my heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment