You know how you always know the day will come when your child will graduate high school and then go on to college but it seems forever away? Well, that day arrived today as we moved Hannah into her dorm room at MTSU. How did all this happen? Wasn't she just starting school yesterday?
She's so excited and I can't blame her. I remember going off to college--it was a grand time with so many possibilities. It might rank as some of the best years of my life, even with exams and classes you love to hate. She is also so nervous, as evidenced by all the questions: Where do I go to get my parking pass? How do I use my dining card? Will I be able to get to my classes on time? If I can't give her a definite answer, she gets mad at me, which actually means she's frustrated that I, as parent-all-knowing, don't have the answers. It's a time when she's going to have to branch out on her own and learn these things for herself.
When I got dropped off at college, my parents had never been and they knew no more than I did. I had to learn how to schedule my classes (in the days before computers did it for you) and how to map out my four years. Now it's amazing to me how well-informed parents are: we can receive emails and texts about literally everything, and we've been to parent question-and-answer sessions to set our minds at ease (at which I read a book...so sue me). Hannah's a big girl now, even if she sometimes doubts it. She can handle this. (That's my new mantra, anyway).
Her dorm room is large and recently renovated, and wonder of wonders, it's a private room. We weren't sure she'd get one but somehow the cards of fate have been dealt and there it is. As she flitted about the room putting things away, she kept saying it's a good thing she doesn't have a roommate because then where would she put all her stuff? And stuff there is...computer, tv, iPod, iHome, clock, mirror, clothes enough to choke a horse and twice that amount of shoes. Then we took off to Target to get MORE STUFF...mostly food but also those last minute things you can't live without, like Shout stain remover. A girl's gotta be prepared.
She's got a busy week ahead with band camp amid 300+ of her closest band buddies. I'm glad she's got Mara living with her for the week because people are scarce in her dorm until Friday when regular freshman move-in commences. And of course there's Leonard, my adopted son, who accompanied us to dinner tonight and looks imposing (at least from a distance, lol). Together they'll figure it out and will be okay.
It's a fun time but a scary time. Will she be safe? Will she remember to lock her room door when going to the restroom? Will she get a parking ticket? It's the beginning of the "let go" time and while I'm so proud, I'm so worried for her. Growing up isn't always easy.
Course it's also a sad time...how did my baby get to be so old, so independent? It's all we ever want for our children, but when it comes, it's a kick in the gut, too. You mean she really doesn't need me 24/7 (even if she thinks she does at times)? How dare she be able to have a good time without me? And of course there are things that will happen that I *don't need to know about.* It's been that way since the dawn of time, and thus it will continue. Doesn't mean I have to like it, but I do have to live with it.
So...check back in a week and I'll tell you how we're all surviving. I am thankful she's close by; I am thankful she's a smart young woman who knows what she's doing; I am thankful for her scholarships and the fact that she does need me, if only a little bit. After all, who else would've remembered to bring the scissors she needed to open everything new today?