Off to College

Good thing you can’t see me when I write.  Right now my keyboard is damp from a flood of tears.  Yes, I can be sensitive.  You would be too.

My oldest daughter went back to college on Thursday.  She is a senior.  With her, it’s no big deal.  We are used to her coming and going.  Doing her own thing.  But today, today is a different story.  You see, today my youngest went off to begin her college career as a freshman.

It’s hard letting go of the last one.  When I was in school my parents never expected to hear from me.  I was three hundred miles away and even with the newly invented push button phone you still had to pay the long distance charges.  I was a boy. But in this day of cell phones, Facebook, twitter, and an extensive national highway system, we still rarely hear from my oldest daughter.  My younger one, I think, will text us until her thumbs fall off.  They are just different like that.

Even after weeks of shopping, days of packing and years of knowing this day would come, I was not ready.  She’s too young.  Now what do I do?

We spent the day travelling to her new school and unpacking the car.  We moved all of her stuff into the dorm and set up the room the way she wanted her new home to be.  Good thing the van has a lot of cargo space because her car doesn’t.  And she had a lot of stuff.  Made the bed, set up the TV hung a few pictures on the wall.  Got the bathroom towels out as well as a bathmat.  Pillows put in place.  Every pencil arranged in the desk.  The plant watered.  Her mother and I looked for anything else to do.  Some way to hold on one more minute. Finally, there was no escaping it.  It was time for mom and dad to leave.

We all walked out to the parking lot.  A sudden burst of tears from mom and daughter, stemmed by a smile from dad as I said, “It’s gonna be fine.”  Everyone hugged and smiled and off she went.  I told myself she wouldn’t look back before going into the dorm, hoping, maybe, that I was wrong.  Sure enough, she didn’t turn as she went straight ahead into the building.  Off to her new life.  She was ready.  And excited.

That is part of our family personal history.  She and I are both writing new chapters everyday.  She as college student.  Me, well, I’m an empty nester for the first time in, how many years?  Just know that it’s a lot.  What’s your personal history?  Capture these moments so all will remember in the future.


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