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Saturday, October 10, 2015

So it turns out I do miss my college kid

 photo 7ac17ae5-f724-41dc-9922-64ad5bbb3056_zpsvpkcbylf.jpgWhen we dropped off Annie at college nearly two months ago, I was excited for her. I knew she was ready for this next adventure and I was confident that she would do well. I will admit to having a good cry the night before she left. But when we dropped her off at school, I didn't shed any tears. Heck, I didn't even cry when two hours after we left she posted on Facebook that she'd gotten (and been hiding) a tattoo on her leg.

In the days and weeks surrounding Annie's college departure, plenty of people have said to me "How are you? " Or sometimes "How are you," as if sending my daughter off to college should have left me sobbing buckets of salty tears. I kind of felt like a bad mom when I answered honestly, "I'm fine." Maybe I shouldn't be fine. Maybe I should be feeling my heartstrings stretched to their capacity, crossing off the days until she comes up with big red Xes on the calendar in the kitchen.

My boss, whose youngest child is Annie's age and is off to college himself this year, assured me that I am not a bad mom. "You will miss her at the weirdest times," she said. And it turns out she was right.

The first time I really missed Annie was on the way home from visiting her for Family Weekend. We arrived on a Friday night and hung out in her dorm room with about 6 or 8 of her theatre buddies. We got FroYo and walked around the campus. The next day, we watched her hang lights in the theatre, went to hometown favorite burger place and drove out to a pumpkin patch, where I got some great pictures of Annie and the boys.

The next morning, we headed home. And on our way home is when I really started to miss her. It wasn't so much that Annie wasn't coming home with us. It was more that I didn't have her to myself anytime over the weekend. The family time was fun, but as we were headed back to Indianapolis, I found myself longing for some girl time with my girl.

So maybe, I'm not a bad mom after all.

The other time I find myself missing my college kid is at work. I work on a college campus and lately, I've had a lot of meetings that require me to crisscross the campus several times a week. As I walk past the students who are close to my daughter's age, I think to myself "Annie is probably walking to class right now." I look at the brick buildings and the changing leaves and the kids with their frappa-mocha-lattes, backpacks and school spirity sweatshirts and think about Annie doing the same things on her college campus. And I miss her. Not in a break-down-crying-need-to-talk-to-a-therapist way, but in a happy-for-her-but-wish-I-could-spend-time-with-her kind of way.

And guess what? She'll be home this weekend for fall break! She will be home to see Robbie's football game, eat dinner with us, cuddle with the dog, and go to church with us. And on Monday, she and I will have girl time getting our hair done and driving her back to school.

I can't wait.


kimybeee said...

Caitlin went five hours away the first two years. I drove my moms van ahead of Jeff and Caitlin in her car. As we got closer to her school, the songs on the radio made me cry. I texted my prayer group while driving, in the mountains on a road I had never seen before! I figured God had me since I was sending him a message lol. After I hit send I was fine.

We got her all squared away and left and I never shed another tear. I think it was because we knew she was ready and able to be on her own. The only other time I cried was when I was at work and she called me and one of her friends from home had smeared peanut butter on her face while she was asleep! Caitlin is highly allergic and event contact is severe!! I had to go cry it out because I felt helpless and wanted to kill Cameron, he knew better!

Now both kids are 3 hours away at the same school. People ask me the same thing, do I miss them? No, they come home every weekend. Nobody is leaving laundry and dishes all over the house. Nobody is bitchin and I don't have to wear clothes if I don't want too lol.

When Caitlin called and said she was in a wreck I calmly asked her if she was ok and told her to call her dad at work. I wasn't worried because she had Jonathan there with her in a few minutes time and the two of them together are more fierce than me lol.

You prepare them for this day. We refused to let either of ours stay home. They had to leave for school or leave lol. Both kids have traveled a lot, without us. I have anxiety and don't have any adventures, I worked hard to not put those fears on my kids so they can enjoy life!! Neither is afraid of an adventure and both of them are prudes when it comes to partying. We told them our values and always let them make their own choices. So far, so good!

We went to Caitlin's best friend from high schools wedding Saturday. Caitlin was in the wedding party. Her peers were boozing and dancing. Caitlin had me and her dad save her a seat and she hung out with us and some other friends. I told her if she wanted to drink (we don't, but Caitlin likes an occasional fruity adult beverage) that as long as she didn't get drunk I would stay and drive her home. She had one sip of wine and gagged. She doesn't drink beer, so she was out! We have some great kids!