I have shared more about my feelings regarding Sam leaving for college on this blog than anywhere else in my life. Mostly because I use this space almost like an online diary, and since the kids don’t read it, I can be very honest about a variety of topics.
I survived the college drop off! We decided that we didn’t need to be the first people in the door so didn’t leave until almost 8AM. The traffic was terrible. I really didn’t mind though because it just gave me more time to chat with Sam. Parker was with us in the car too so it was girl bonding time. We arrived at noon and luckily they were still unloading cars. After literally driving up to the front door of the dorm, a faculty member took Sam in to get checked in while students unloaded all of her belongings into wheelie carts and delivered them to her room. We parked and met her there. Her suite mates were gone, but their room was totally set up and decorated. We got busy doing the necessary things like setting up the shared living room with the keurig and TV. Sam’s roommate and her parents arrived with a LOT of stuff so we worked in our part of the room and tried not to get in their way. When we had done as much as we could we went out to lunch and did a quick run to Walgreens. Sam wanted us to stay while she got connected to the internet, found out about getting a parking pass and moved her car to a student lot.
We definitely did some things right. We didn’t over pack. Sam packed her clothes, makeup etc. I packed linens, assorted cleaning/snacking supplies, etc. We brought trash cans for the room and bathroom, a floor lamp which made the lighting in the room so much nicer, hand soap, air freshener, a plunger, hot chocolate and tea k-cups to share. Sam wanted to unpack her clothes and desk supplies herself so we just tucked those duffels under her bed for later. We had already discussed how long she might want us to stay and what she wanted us to do while we were there. I could tell she was a bit stressed when we first arrived so I sent Dave and Grant to pick up batteries and a power strip to clear a few people out of the room. Before arriving on campus, it was decided that we would stay long enough to set up the electronics and make the bed. As it turns out, she wanted us to stay a little longer than that. We had also discussed that she would need to go out and get a few organizer things once she saw what she needed for food storage etc. Dave wanted to do this together, but I wanted her to bond with her roommates and thought they could go together. Since she was equipped with her car, a shopping list and money, I knew this was something she could tackle without us. The one thing we forgot was pictures of friends, pets and family. That would really have made her side of the room more homey. I remember talking about it but that idea got lost in the shuffle.
After moving her car, we walked back to our car and said our goodbyes. It was short and sweet and then we got out of there. I did not cry (and neither did Parker) until we were driving away. One of the things that I was made aware of through conversations with her friends is that Sam had told them she wasn’t sure I was going to miss her because I had been so stoic about the whole thing. She told them she didn’t think that I would cry when I had to leave her. But she had told me that if I cried then she would. So it was a fine line between letting her know that I am going to miss her and not making her feel bad in the meantime. So I did what any mom would do in the year 2013 – I made few facebook posts letting the world (and her) know that I was missing her and it was tough to leave her.
Sam texted last night and told me she was homesick. I told her that was totally normal. I told her to unpack as that would make the space feel more like hers. I told her to get some sleep. When she called this afternoon, she and her roommates had done some shopping and come up with some great solutions for food storage and shower supply organization. She helped with move in for the students arriving today. And she had her first meal on campus. I think she is on her way to settling in nicely.
This morning I got up and cleaned out her bathroom. Secretly I am happy that it is going to stay neat and organized for a while. It is going to take me a while to get used to having her gone, but I also know she is taking the first step into an amazing future.