Last week we helped H move into her dorm room…in CALIFORNIA! She picked a school the farthest away from home she could! It’s a great fit, and she is thrilled to be there, so we’re truly happy for her. But it’s such a strange feeling, to go from having her here to NOT having her here. Buying her the one way ticket to California was the first time it really hit me…I’m not going to be in her daily life any more.
She is reveling in the independence of college. I’ve talked to her a couple of times, mostly when she needed some kind of information, but once she called just to check in. She sounds ecstatic. Which makes this so much easier.
But move-in day/parent orientation was hectic and emotional. At least on my end. She had just returned from a 3 day orientation adventure, backpacking at 11,000 feet. There were 8 other freshmen, plus a couple of upperclass trip leaders, so she was able to get really close to a few like-minded kids right off the bat. We missed all the planned parent activities because we were lugging boxes from the mailroom to her room, and making a few Target and Bed/Bath and Beyond trips.
I had forgotten how small college dorm rooms are!
But surprisingly, she fit everything she needed into the space. She was adament that I not organize her things, so I did the jobs she assigned me…connected her printer, hang bulleting boards, and unpack and throw away all the boxes. We had dinner together the night we arrived, and the last night we were there, and met her for a quick breakfast the morning we left. By that time we were extraneous. Not needed. She was being very sweet, but it was obvious she was ready to fly, and we needed to leave so she could get started. I noticed that we were the only parents walking their kid back from the dining hall, and realized it was definitely time to go. So we had our last hugs in front of her dorm, and watched her walk away to take her French placement exam.
Nothing is going to be the same. I’m excited for her, but it’s hard to stop the worrying…I think about her constantly. Where is she now? Does she like her professors? Is she getting enough sleep? Did she lock her bike? Is she meeting lots of nice people? Is her bed comfortable? After almost 19 years of living and breathing her every single day it’s hard to stop. But we’ve raised a smart, kind, resourceful, outgoing young lady, and I do know in my heart that she will be OK. That doesn’t make it feel any less weird, or hurt any less. I miss going into her room at night just to watch her sleep. I miss making her weird vegetarian/tofu meals. I miss dragging her out of bed on the mornings she slept late (which was any day she didn’t have school!). I even miss her rolling her eyes at me when I did something she thought was goofy.
I miss this…
But I’m staying very busy. Going on long hikes with J and the dogs, volunteering at Habitat for Humanity, trying new recipes, and buying new art supplies so I’ll hopefully start painting again. Maybe I’ll even start blogging more often than once a quarter! This whole experience is kicking my butt, but every day gets a little bit easier. Slowly, but surely, I’m quitting the helicopter mom business. But it sure would be nice if I had a closed circuit camera there to keep an eye on her!