He's Moving On Up...


I call him "the school greeter"

It finally happened yesterday.  We took our son to college for his freshman year.  How did we get here?  I think I'll be asking myself that question for a LONG time.  

The day was long and exhausting; both physically and emotionally.  I haven't cried yet, but then again, I haven't really cried over the deaths of my parents either.  I'm seriously repressed?  Or maybe, using my word of the year, I'm overwhelmed and just haven't gotten there yet.

Everything got really crazy the day BEFORE move it.  All of us had packed up my son's things and stored them in our sun parlor.  Wednesday was the day for organizing and labelling.  While I would have liked to have been home for that, I was in the office for some meetings, but thankfully was able to leave earlier than usual.  (Which meant a slow local bus, but...)  In between packing up the car

(which my husband did an excellent job of...and in all honesty, my son didn't bring that much...what's up with that?), I had to run to UPS (BoA finally sent me the checks for my father's accounts -- it only took a month to get there -- and I needed to get them to a place that I trusted:  RBC.  THEY provided me with a UPS overnight label and all was taken care of before noon on the 24th.  Now THAT'S service.), Walgreens (FedEx drop off to return a pair of shoes...Sperry's idea of 6.5 w is different than another company in my book) and to fill up my gas tank.

Thursday morning did not dawn bright.  Hubby and I were up way before the sun (which never really came out and can you believe it was in the lower 70s for the entire day?  Is this August?).  Got the kid up just before 5:30 and were on the road before 6.  (So that we could get the kid a coffee...hubby and I did not...I don't know if that's a good thing or bad.)  Because the college is only 30 or so miles away and it was early morning, we got there before 7.  (Our move in slot was between 6:45-7:15.)  There was a LONG line up of cars, but the college did it right. One by one we were allowed to drive down the hill.  As we headed down, we were greeted by cheerleaders and others, welcoming us.  Maybe it was corny, but it was also really heartwarming.  At the front of the door, my son was escorted out, while we were shown where to (temporarily) park.  A team came over to unload all his belongings into a cart, which only took a few minutes.  Then my husband stayed behind and I went to park the car in the "real" lot.  (Didn't exactly know what I was doing...but managed to figure it out.) Then walked BACK to the dorm (yes, I had to ask direction on the way), past the cheering team (you know what it was nice!) and found my husband waiting for me outside.

We went inside to find my son, who we guessed was already in his room. Because the freshman dorm is currently undergoing renovation (at winter break he will move to a newly renovated room), the elevator was only for carts and people carrying large items.  So my husband and I had to take the stairs to the 13th floor.  It was NOT as bad as it could have been, because the main entrance is on the 3rd floor, but still...

We managed to find my son's room.  (Although there is another person on the floor with the same first name, so we thought we found the room, but didn't.)  His belongings were there and he was unpacking.  His roommate was already set up because he had arrived earlier in the week for band.  (We didn't know this...and as his mother told us, THEY didn't know until recently.)  I have to say his roommate seemed really organized. (A trait that I hope rubs off on my son.)  His roommate, N, arrived with his mom a little while later and we got to know them a bit as my son continued to unpack and make his bed.  I liked them both and they are NOT from the area, so I made sure to let N's mom know that we were not too far away in case of urgent issues.  Both my husband and I think N will make a good roommate and that they will complement each other well.  (Time will tell if we are right.)  It seems as if the floor is mostly theater/art kids, which also seems like a good thing.  (N is a performance major and my son is planning on majoring in arts administration.)  They didn't stay too long, as they didn't want to get in our way (they weren't) and I am very glad that we got to meet them both.

With the early move in, and not too much stuff (at least compared to some of the other loaded cars we saw), my son was finished with everything that he wanted to do before 8.  The issue was that there was nothing else going on until at least 11, so what were we going to do?  We went to the bookstore and got my son some lounge pants.  (He actually wanted them!  What?)  My husband was NOT going to do the stairs again, so we left him on a park bench and my son and I walked back down the hill (once again passing the cheering squad) and up 10 flights!  (He handled it much better than I.)  We did a few things in his room, but my son was feeling antsy.  There weren't many people around and he kept feeling that he was missing something important.  (He wasn't).  We walked back up to find my husband, passing the cheering team, who seemed to be a less peppy.  (Can you blame them?)  We talked to some of them for a few minutes (yes, I was trying to get my son to meet new people), before continuing up the hill and finding my husband.

We continued to wait/hang around until 11, when my son could go get some lunch.  We could have too, but instead opted to get free coffee (FINALLY) and meet with some of the campus administration.  My son eventually joined us, and then we went outside again and perused some of the tables at the information fair.  (Was trying to get my son interested in the theater group.)  There was some swag to be gotten as well as some snacks.  (Needed something to eat!)  It did rain, but we hung under a tree and were mostly shielded. 

Move in was officially over at noon, but as my son went back to the room one more time (hubby and I were not doing the stairs again), there were still a few cars lined up.  (The cheer team had given up at their designated noon end time.)  I don't know how he made it there and back so quickly!  (Kid's got legs).

It was finally one and time for official events.  We went to the theater for a panel discussion.  It was informative, but the air conditioning was on (remember it was in the low 70s outside) and I was freezing.  (I was dressed for a summer move in day, not a wet, cool early spring day).  Then it was onto the gym for a formal welcome (was supposed to be outside, but it was still raining).  We saw the roommate, his mom and his brother come in and invited them to sit with us.  Again, the event was informative, but was cold with the air conditioning on.

And then it was over.  The new students were to say goodbye and assemble into their learning communities.  We walked him over to his group, gave him a final hug and then we had to walk (in the rain) to the car in the parking lot.  We didn't cry (well maybe we got a little misty).  We didn't turn back.  We knew (know) that our son is where he needs to be.  As hard as it is for us to say goodbye; this is his time to soar.

Exhausted, we drove to the shore.  (So exhausted that we skipped the parent happy hour!)  Traffic, as always, was awful leaving and the rain didn't help.  We had hoped to do some grocery shopping that evening, but the weather and exhaustion nixed that. We had an early dinner since we really hadn't eaten all day.  I had a drink (or two).  And then we both took warm showers and crashed for the night. 

Because the orientation schedule is on the school website, I know what our son will be up to for the next few days before classes begin on Monday.   It looks like a lot of great activities.  I hope our son takes part in them all.  I hope he is having a great time.  I hope he is forming new friendships and experiencing all that college has to (safely) offer.  

I miss him. I miss being able to share all this news with my parents.  That's what actually makes this so hard. But I know that they would have been proud of all that he’s accomplished. That will have to be enough.


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