The College Drop Off, The Trip Down

I can’t believe it.  The day that we have been waiting for what seems like forever is here.  Finally arrived in Pittsburgh, not an inch of empty space in the car.  We weren’t the only ones heading here today.  Pittsburgh is home to three Universities and seven Collegess so the highways and Turnpikes were filled with SUV’s, trucks, trailers and U-Haul’s.  I witnessed all of her stuff being packed into our 4 door sedan and it appeared to me, that she had what she would need for the next few months until winter clothes would be called to duty.  But the more U-Haul’s I saw, I was getting concerned that perhaps we hadn’t received a last minute email list that described additional appliance needed for college.  What were these other kids bringing along?   We tend to be “frugal” packers, the kind that pack only what is needed.  We have learned over the years that the one trip, you decide to bring more than what is needed, is the same trip you find yourself schlepping your stuff further than you had anticipated and regret all of that other stuff that travels back home uninterrupted, neatly packed the way it went into the bag in the first place.

I asked her several times.  “Why are we the ones with less stuff?”  “Don’t worry mom, I have what I need.”  Well time will tell.  Let’s see what the next 24 hours bring.  I’m sure a shopping spree somewhere.

That’s the functional stuff of today.  The kind of activity that distracts me from what is really going on this weekend.  Leaving her behind.  This is the first trip where she stays.  She’ll be here for the next four years, with vacation here and there.  This is the day (or the day before) where I have to let her go happily, knowing she will never be a part of the household like she has been for the last 18 1/2 years.  She is all grown up, beautiful, smart, curious and hungry for this next chapter of her life.  I am proud of and happy for her.  Never has the world seemed more ready to take her on.  And never has she seemed more accepting of taking it on.  On that same note, never has my world seemed emptier to let her go.  It’s both a happy and sad time.  Mixed with emotions that have me “cryghing”, a cross between crying and laughing.  She knows me better than anyone and knows that tomorrow will be tougher for me.  We have set some ground rules .  If you are going to cry controlably, wear your dark Jackie O shades.  If you are going to cry uncontrolabbly, with your shoulders dislocating from thier joints…walk away.  Who needs to be embarassed or worse yet, what child wants to witness their mom turn into a puddle of water, no longer recognizable as someone you once knew.

Yes I know and I am reminded by great friends and family that we raise them to let them go, and how proud we should be to have her reach this point where she can move on and make her own mark in this world.  All of that is true, and all of that doesn’t take away how I feel.  I know I will move on, adjust to life at home, find new ways to spend the time I use to spend with her.  In a way, I will need to reclaim more of me in the process and that could be interesting.

It will all work out and I will recover but I still have to get through tomorrow!

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