Wednesday, September 05, 2012

COLLEGE: Like Kindergarten. But way bigger. And more expensive. And a lot farther away.

So we shipped our first born child off to college this past weekend.  So far she's been busy bonding with her three new roommates, exploring the grounds, and getting fed at all the free events the school's been throwing.  The rest of the time she's in her room with the Mac Book Pro (all the photography students get a computer issued by the program) editing photos she took here at home.  Oh yeah, she also showed up at her first class yesterday.  On time.

She's rocking this.

Now you're wondering how I'm doing.


No seriously.  I'm handling this better than I thought I would.  I squeezed out a few tears on Friday night, in my bed, with my face stuck to her daddy's shoulder.  That was my hard time.  I'd spent the last half a year preparing myself for the basic idea that my kid will be not living in the same house as me during the week.  I introduced to her the concept of self-nagging.  She ended up not getting a steady job this summer, and while it would have been good to have some money earned up, she had time to work on her photography skills and talk to her mother about life and stuff, and also, grow up a little.  I had time to enjoy her presence.

I just had that one moment Friday night.

Okay maybe I've been choked up a couple times.

But I'm way more okay than I expected.

That child walked into the kindergarten yard all those years ago in her floweree-ree-ree-ree jacket and cute skirt and red rubber boots, wide eyed and free of expectations.  She walked out a couple hours later, looked at the yellow school bus, and burst into tears when I told her that she could't go on the bus because we lived just down the street and she had to walk home with me and her little brother.  That was my forehead slap moment.  I didn't prepare her for that!  I'd told her how when I was a little girl living on Grandma's farm I took the bus to school.  I forgot to tell her that kids who live two blocks away from the school walk home, holding mommy's hand, with little brother in the stroller.

Now she lives about an hour away from the school.  Her new home away from home is a residence building, just across the lane from a nice cafeteria and mere minutes from the school's photography studio.  Everything is a short walk.

I am pretty sure I thought of everything this time.  I told her about how my one and only year of college was different because I was 20 and married.  And how I had only been on a city bus once in my life.  And how I had a meltdown beside a bus shelter the night before my first class because the posted bus schedule looked like a Russian blueprint and what the hell was I doing living in a place with all these buildings everywhere, right beside each other... while my young husband sat on the curb with his head in his hands wondering what he was thinking, taking this little hick out of her natural habitat, the full realization sinking in that he had just married a crazy chick.

Selina is a little odd and quirky, but she's not crazy.  And she's not typical.  She's not swayed by what everybody else is doing.

Not like back in kindergarten.  She went in with full sentences and decent grammar and clear enunciation.  She came home the second day talking like a baby.  Oh wow.  Poor kid looked around with those big eyes and open ears and figured out that this is what we do in kindergarten.

I'm not really concerned that she'll come home next weekend talking with full-on vocal fry, sentences all dipping down at the end, eyes rolling, hair flipping, slouching, post-valley-girl apathy.  (Luckily so far her roommates don't fit that description.  Whew.)

MEANWHILE, back at the Ol' Homestead.

Bucky went to school yesterday without his sister for the first time ever.  He was ready with time to spare and had nobody to nag at to quick hurry up get ready don't make me miss the bus.  He drove over to the bus stop and everybody got to see him get out of the driver's seat.

I will now be the recipient of all Bucky's practical jokes and advanced trolling.  Unless he text spams his sister.  Which he will.  Because waiting five days for her to come back is a lot longer than waiting two hours for her to come home.


Undercover Sandy Cove-r said...

Oh, empty nest syndrome has struck! She'll be back, Heidi. Stiff upper lip and all - she's turning out good.

Heidi the Hick said...

Thank you Phyllis!

I am proud of her.

It's taking all my self control to not call and send messages constantly. So yay me!

Paul Tee said...

Environment Canada has issued another urgent alert about the progress of "Extreme Lack."
Some experts are claiming it's linked to global warming but offer no conclusive proof. There are, however, international implications...

OH...You're Back!

And with FRESH news. Great!

Yes, this time of the year is fraught with conflicting emotions. I get choked up as the young ones leave the comforts of their home nests and embark on this new adventure. I worry, because I been through it myself a long time ago, recalling the pleasant and the not so pleasant. I tried hard not to load up my youngest with unsolicited advice and lists of do's and don'ts. Of course, it's not his first year as we been through this before and face it with a certain fatalism.

But it's your first, so enjoy it. Be certain that your little one will return, subtly changed on the inside, though it might not yet show on the outside. Still it's the way of things.

Even today I tell myself not to behave and interact with my sons as I did yesterday, "they change a lot faster than I do," and I got to stay ahead of the curve. And as they mature, I shrink in size and omnipotence, but that too is the circle of life.

Congratulation to you and Jethro for launching your little one, and I wish the very best for her. She has talent and enthusiasm. She will do well.

Paul Tee said...

Yikkes! The previous message has infected this blogg too with the dreaded "Extreme Lack" virus.

Symptoms range from general lethargy, partial paralysis, keyboard aversion, brain freeze, accompanied by a host of avoidant behaviors.

Prognosis: poor to dismal, leading to slow degeneration of blogg site.

Antidote: a new laptop (75 % survival rate), a rave review of a manuscript (80%), encouraging response from a literary agent (85 %), acceptance of ms by a publisher (100%), a binding contract (110%)!!!!

Heidi the Hick said...

Yep you nailed it!

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