In my ever changing moods, time seems to just move by at rapid speed, these days. Seriously, where does the time go? I have started the dorm lists, again. You know, the supplies that they never think they need, want, will ever use? But, that they are actually glad to have once they are deep into their campus life? But, it just seems like I was doing this for her freshman year. We were unsure, scared, nervous, wanted to make sure all bases were covered. Overbought things that never got used so those items are on my what NOT to even mess with list, this time. It is funny how just one year makes such a difference. Time...it is our friend.
Last year, this same time, I was a wreck. I was buying out places like Bed, Bath and Beyond, Ikea, Target, Best Buy, Home Depot. By the time we were packed and heading down the road for moving in day, we looked like we were taking triplets off to college. How did we know? We didn't. This year, I do. This year I am the seasoned college parent. I am now watching the first time freshman parents freaking out, buying out the stores, lists in hand. I would like to offer them advice but I don't want to intrude on their frantic trips to the stores. This year, I know to make the lists, go and begin purchasing items, a bit at a time, pack as you go, get the rest of the stuff out of the storage bins and we will be rockin' and rollin' down the road, again, in August.
This year, I will be the calm mom, all smiles and helpful, moving the gear onto the sorority floor of the co-ed's dorm. Last year, I was the mom full of nerves, sick stomach, clutching a box of tissues. I was full of doubt, full of worry, full of tears. Freshman move in day was really just torture. The college had it all down to a science, and in hindsight, I can see why they had the parents gather in a large auditorium, handed out tisses and notecards, and gave you 45 minutes of slide shows and sappy music to cry your eyes out, write meaningful notes to your freshman, and then go back to the kids to say goodbye. I mean, cry a river...that was me!! You could tell the first time parents compared to the parents who had done this, before. They were looking at their watches, hoping to get the heck out of Dodge while the first timers were clinging to any and all last minute times we had with our kids.
But, freshman year was great for the co-ed, she pledged a sorority (my old sorority) and she is at my old campus. So, this all made things a bit easier on my worry scale. She made friends, learned how to manage on her own, came home occassionally, and with each visit, I saw her maturing and becoming more and more independent. The summer came so quick that it was hard to believe she was heading back home. Because, well, something else happens when they are away. The mom, me, myself....the mom grows and becomes independent of the old life. I had two business ventures in full swing and I just really let myself take off. Time was all that I had, now. Time was now a good thing! My days were crammed with time with my bread business and time building my clothing boutique. I became me, again. I mean, I have always been me but I was now not someone's mom sitting at games or dance lessons or 4H meetings. I was totally free to be me! I was afraid with both of us growing in new ways, we would totally clash on her first summer home. But, no. Not at all.
I come and go and tend to business, she comes and goes with friends and her job, J comes and goes. We all sometimes have dinner or breakfasts as a family but more often, not. We are all crazy busy so many days we are all just running out the door with a quick hello or hug. But, this is what, as parents, we hope to accomplish and see. This independence, this free spirit. What the parent didn't realize is that in all of this time, the parent also became the independent free spirit. Who knew that time would be our friend?