The deed is done, we’ve ditched our son
As I settle back into life, post-dropping my son off at college, I’m still not sure what I think of it all. On the one hand, it went fabulously. Every time we’ve gone back to visit the school, we’ve felt sure it was the right place for him. Not the most prestigious school, but he never wanted the kind of competitive elbow-throwing that tends to come with that. Not the closest, or the farthest…not the biggest, either…wait, is this starting to sound like a Goldilocks story? Or is that my fear popping back up, that I’ve somehow let my child into a sweet little house and told him to grab a bite of porridge and a nap, all tucked in safe, but the bears are coming home soon?
Seriously, that captures what this felt like rather well. I’m sure he made the right choice. And, despite the price tag attached to the books–do you remember paying close to $350 for your bio texbooks alone?–my dominant emotion as we settled him in was probably envy. Not a dark-green-with-red-streaks angry envy, more of a very pale yellow-green emotion. It all just looked like so much FUN! The campus was beautiful, the orientation games well-chosen and positive, the professors engaged, the textbooks intriguing…yeah, he’s going to have a blast!
However, after visiting around town and re-discovering an awesome playground he’d known when he lived near there as a very small child, it came time to leave him. You know, actually say goodbye and drive off. But even then, I didn’t cry. After all, I’m super happy for him so why would I cry? But after we got on the road and headed home I felt so–odd. Disjointed, even fractured. I mean, you spend 17+ years keeping careful tabs on a person, placing their needs before your own, ready to lay down your life for them at a moment’s notice, and then you drive off and leave them with a bunch of strangers? And not for a week or two. It will be MONTHS before we see him again! When I think of that, I feel a bit like our poor dog, that last day as we shifted all the packed boxes out of our son’s room and into the car. Zeke-dog clearly knew something was up, and became more agitated the longer we worked. Finally it came to the point that when he entered our son’s room he’d whine, and that progressed to letting out terrible, heart-rending moans. Seriously, it was like his heart was breaking. We did what we could to comfort him and took an extra half hour-to an hour to pet him and reassure him. But he was still seriously moped.
So, yeah. There’s that side, and on the drive home my heart was in accord with the doggy. But after exchanging a flurry of emails last night–among other things, there’s a book that we’ll be shipping up come Monday–things looked better for me. And today I took Zeke-dog for a run on our favorite trail, and gave him a fresh bone, and he appears to be reconciled to the world. I think we’ll all survive, and better than survive. Because what is life without change, and without upward growth? Well…it’s not fairytale. 😉