August 17, 2016
Although I usually do only two posts a week, so many of you have been interested in Sarah’s first day of college that I didn’t want you to have to wait until Friday for the whole story. Am I not such a nice blogger?
This is the sight that greeted me when I came downstairs Monday morning. (The baby gate is for the dog, not Sarah.)
Loading it all up . . .
and being happy it all fit.
Here she is–the Official College Student!
Steve did his Daddy Duties and checked the oil and the tire pressure.
Before Sarah pulled out, we not only took the prerequisite selfie . . .
we also took the selfie that consisted of one of us oldsters pointing at the screen and saying, “Is this where we look?”
Even though we actually do know where to look, it has become a family joke.
Dad and Daughter.
Mom and Daughter.
The tears are starting.
Sarah decided that she would like to make the whole 2-hour drive by herself so the plan was for her to leave thirty minutes earlier than us to give herself time to stop by Walmart on the way to pick up a few last-minute items for the dorm.
Steve and I stood together in the driveway and watched her pull out.
Even though we knew we’d see her again in just a couple of hours, there was still a definite finality to this particular leave-taking.
This is a sight that parents of adult children everywhere can relate to–the pulling away from the house, the leaving behind of the childhood years. Tears, tears, and more tears.
After Steve and I had been on the road about half an hour (after having waited the designated amount of time to leave the house), we got a text from Sarah saying she was stuck in a long line at Walmart. Since we were just about to pass Walmart, we didn’t want to continue to drive, because then we would get to the college before she would.
So we stopped at a nearby Goodwill for a few minutes to give her a chance to finish her shopping and get ahead of us. As it turns out, we didn’t give her quite enough time because an hour later Steve said, “Look! There she is!”
My heart just leaped when I saw my little girl trundling bravely and merrily along–in her own car, on her own path, to her own future.
Steve and I did a little lollygagging to ensure that she would arrive before we did. When we finally pulled onto the campus, I got my first glimpse of her dorm. (Steve and Sarah had been to the dorm on an earlier visit.)
As we entered her room, we saw that her resident adviser had made door signs for all the girls on her hall. Is that not cool?
Some helpful young men assisted us in getting her belongings up to the 4th floor. She is in a 3-person dorm with a living room . . .
bedroom . . .
and full kitchen. (There is also a laundry facility and a gym on the first floor.)
I love the fact that Regent strongly encourages its students to eat in the cafeteria as little as possible and instead, make budgets, shop for groceries, and cook for themselves. That way when they graduate from college, they will have those important life skills firmly in hand.
Sarah sent me the kitchen pictures this morning since I had forgotten to take any. I was impressed to see the white board on the refrigerator door and a line up of this week’s meals already planned. Here is the menu:
Sounds like she is not going to go hungry!
I’m sure the three girls will have fun exchanging recipes and learning all sorts of cooking tips from each other. I sent Sarah off with at least twenty main dishes she knows how to make so she will be well able to contribute to the cooking duties.
Speaking of food, after Sarah had gotten everything moved into her room, we drove to the nearest Chick-Fil-A for lunch. As we were standing in line, Sarah asked Steve to put her new keys on her key ring–a key to her mailbox and a key to her room.
I looked at those keys and thought of all they represented: a whole new life with new freedoms and greater independence–and no mama around. Of course, I got choked up all over again.
It was right about that time that Sarah leaned over and said, “Mom, what are you getting?”
Without thinking I instantly replied, “I would like to get one Sarah–to go.”
She said, “Awww, Mom” and grabbed my hand while we both shed some more tears.
After lunch, we went back to the college for a few minutes . . .
and then it was time for the goodbye.
And it was time to pray . . .
over our sweet girl.
There is no hall in the entire world any longer than the hall that leads away from your child’s first college dorm. Every step emphasizes the reality that you have just bid farwell to a child who will never again be the same.
Freedom, independence and new experiences so quickly transform a living-at-home young adult into a different person. Although I will feel nostalgic for the old version of Sarah, I can’t wait to meet the person Sarah will grow into at Regent.
Steve and I were utterly exhausted when we got into our car for the trip home. There was so much adrenaline, joy, excitement, anxiety, tears, pride, and laughter all stirred and blended into one short day.
As we drove, Steve told me that it felt so different dropping a daughter off at college as opposed to a son; he said all he could think about was how much he wanted to stay and protect her. And I think it was also harder for us both because of all the pain and trauma we went through during her cancer treatment.
Nathan has always been more of an independent person than Sarah, going to Ecuador in High School, leaving for college (9 hours away) at age 17, and spending a semester in Jerusalem while at college.
But although Sarah’s runway was longer than Nathan’s, she is taking off from home at exactly the right time for her–I truly believe she is more than ready for this new adventure.
She just called me while I was writing this post, talking as she walked across campus to her first activity of the day. She was full of news and anecdotes and I listened to her sweet, familiar voice with joy.
Two days down–a whole future to go.
P.S. We had a very special meeting with a very special someone while we were at Regent; I’ll share that story in the next post.
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie
are all on the list of things I love.