What a difference seven years makes.

I’ve hit an enormous milestone. My baby is moving back to his college town for his final year. And I’m not along to help him move in.

This one’s up to him and his father. They left at 5:00 this morning, to beat the crowd of nearly 1000 college students all trying to move a year’s worth of stuff into the same building. Yes, he’s a senior still living in the dorms – this kid has too much sense to not take advantage of the four-year full ride he was offered, even though it means his roommates this year are – gasp! – freshmen. It wasn’t until yesterday that I discovered he also had enough sense to spring for the extra money to cover a large private room that shares only  living space and bathroom with those two freshmen. Dissemination of important information is not exactly his forte.

In the fall of 2009 we moved our Oldest 10 hours away for her first college experience. Back then, at the beginning of this long-ass college journey, the whole thing was fresh and new; exciting and terrifying; joyful and tear-filled. Her father and I and her two siblings were part of the adventure. It was a BIG DEAL.

Why is it different now?

  • Of our three, this one is the most self-sufficient and perfectly happy doing his own thing.
  • Been there, done that. Hate the move-in.
  • Five hours in the car, with heavy lifting in the late summer heat sandwiched between the two halves of the drive, simply doesn’t appeal. Especially when I’ve got to lead two make-or-break meetings tomorrow morning and need to be at work by 8:00 am.
  • I spent an awesome day with my boy yesterday. Lunch, shopping, helping him pack up, and excellent conversation, which made good fodder for a forthcoming post (Topic: more disgust over the Bible Belt mentality, which he encountered earlier this week). That time together was satisfying enough that I don’t need that move-in time. Miracle of miracles, The Boy was even sensitive enough to come into the bedroom at 4:58 this morning to give me a good-bye hug. We’re good.
  • Our Middle just finished her first week of teaching, and I feel the need to spend the day with her. She came home late yesterday afternoon with the traditional first-week-of-school virus (I had the same malady every year I taught, brought on by physical and mental exhaustion coupled with kids teeming with germs). I suspect she’ll need some TLC today.

Nine months from now, we’ll be watching the commencement ceremony of our third grad. We’ll be starting to make plans for the doctoral defense and hooding ceremony for our Oldest.

We’ve rocked this college thing. I don’t need to be there for the move-in.

Just a word of warning: Don’t check in with me later in the day, while I’m cleaning The Boy’s room to rescue it from 2 1/2 months of hard use. The tears are likely to be falling by then, and all this bravado will have gone out the window.


One of yesterday’s activities together: The annual back-to-school car wash.


5 thoughts on “What a difference seven years makes.

  1. I have been through this with three children too! Its lovely when they are independent but a bit upsetting too because you feel they don’t need you any more. But they really do!


  2. My toddler is barely starting school this fall (first day of Montessori!) and I’m already imaging her going of to college and being all grown up and the idea makes me teary eyed! Hugs to you and congratulations on 3 awesome kids!


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