If we were having coffee, I would only have two choices to offer you today. We have a Gevalia Colombian and a Wide Awake French Vanilla. I’m going with the Colombian and French Vanilla creamer. Let’s sit out on the porch and enjoy a late summer preview of fall’s upcoming cool crisp mornings. Coffee will warm us.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I really don’t feel like writing anything this morning but I am because this is such a unique feeling I am experiencing today. If I don’t capture it now… you get the picture.
My wife and I took Thursday and Friday off this week to take care of all the last minute things we needed to get done in preparation for my son leaving for college. This mainly involved some last minute dealings with his school, getting his new laptop setup, and of course: packing. His school had staggered move in times for incoming freshmen based on their last name and my son’s scheduled time was between 8:00 and 9:30 on Saturday morning. This meant we had to have the car packed (we packed every inch of it) on Friday night and leave our house by 6:00 am Saturday morning. Well laid plan but we didn’t get out of here until 6:30 which got us to his college around 9:15. No worries.
We pulled in front of his dorm and there were about fifteen or so upperclassmen (athletes we later found out) that quickly unloaded our car and hauled his stuff up to his room. The room was laid out very symmetrical with a large armoire, a bed, and a desk to each side of the room with two dressers in the center of the room, one facing one bed, and one facing the other. Not much room for two people. Thankfully, his new roommate showed up with his parents about ten minutes into our standing around being confused, made quick introductions, and immediately made some suggestions on how to rearrange the room. Their son is one of eleven kids and they had been through this numerous times before. We followed their lead and quickly arranged the room, setting the beds as bunk beds, then moved the dressers and armoires around. Problem solved. They said goodbye to us and their son walked them out to their car to say goodbye.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we had originally planned on staying all day and attending the welcome ceremony that would take place around 3:00 in the afternoon. We didn’t. While my son was getting settled with his new roommate, we ran to the store to get him some last minute things (a lamp, light bulbs, blanket, water, and snacks). When we returned we could tell it was time to go.
Saying goodbyes suck. We say goodbye to a loved one or a pet when they pass. We say goodbyes to family who live in other parts of the country. We say goodbyes to friends we know we won’t see for some time. None of this prepared me or my wife on how to say goodbye to our son nor how we would feel afterwards.
He walked us out to the car and we all hugged, told him we loved him and were proud of him, then wished him good luck. We were OK. Then he came in for the second hug and goodbye to my wife, then me. He walked off towards his dorm, turning and looking back at us once, giving us that same boyish grin we’ve seen daily for so many years. My wife and I cried, while our youngest son watched his older brother until he was out of view.
I know he is only a short two hour drive from us and this is just part of life. It doesn’t make it any easier. It’s his time to shine now in a different environment. He’s worked hard for this opportunity and we couldn’t be more proud. There still is a part of me though that wishes my kids could just stay kids. I know that is both selfish and unrealistic but still…
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that he turns nineteen in two weeks and we will make the drive and take him out to dinner. Two weeks isn’t such a long time. Then we get him for a short break in October and again around Thanksgiving. We can do this.
He texted us goodnight last night then texted us again this morning telling us about his morning run on the lake and some new friends he made last night. He sounds so excited.
And so it starts.