6/26/10

It's not that I don't LOVE her, but...


I’m sitting in the cafeteria of the college campus where Sassy has decided to spend the next four years.

I secured a table in the corner, conveniently close to an outlet in order to charge my new phone (that has a battery that sucks) and my laptop. I watch as parents mingle, smooze, brag about their kids and leaf through the folder of information given to us at check-in this morning. (I’ll be recycling mine as soon as I find an appropriate “bin”. )


While I’m typically a friendly person, I am not in the mood to make new friends - as my heart is back in Oregon where my family is attending the funeral of a much-beloved uncle. My heart aches, and I’ve thrown on an invisibility cloak today as I go through the motions here at the freshman “register, take placements tests, meet your roommate” session.


I wonder if perhaps I’m not normal, because all I can think about is getting out of Dodge.


I do not have the patience to sit through information sessions about the life of a college freshman. I have been there- and frankly, there are some things that parents do NOT need to know.

Graphs about students in their freshman year, and what percentage of them leave campus on weekends, and what percent go home- or join clubs? I saw the graph, but the words I heard were “Blah, blah, blah, blah.”


You want to show a graph that will wake up the parents? How about something like … what percentage will be throwing up on that first weekend after the big party? What percentage will be cleaning up their roommates' vomit? Or what percentage will be visiting the campus nurse, going to the ER, or sleeping over at a new “friends” dorm room? Wait, I'm not sure I want to think about that; however, if nothing else, I AM a realist.


These days I am thinking that we live in an age where we have just a little too much information. I remember the day I left for college, and my mom was standing at the kitchen sink wearing an apron. I yelled, “Goodbye, mom. Dad is taking me to college now!” She smiled, hugged me hard and with a tear in her eye she shoved me out the door.


I’m going to take a cue from my mother.


When I send Sassy with her father in August (hint, hint), I will pray that the mistakes she makes are ones that don’t hurt TOO badly, and are ones from which she can recover. With any luck she WON’T end up on any graph or pie chart at a parent information session.


And the reason that my mother stayed home with an apron tied around her waist on my first trip to college? I totally get it. While I’m sure she really WAS baking bread that day, I think it was also sprinkled with many, many tears.



And while you might laugh at me as I bake bread in the middle of August - now you'll know why I'm doing it. And instead of sprinkling garlic salt on top of the loaf? Well, you know what will be there.



I just hope that you all are here, and join me for a slice.



(Thanks, Scope, for the needlepoint. And congratulations on your wedding. May you and Cora smile and hold hands tightly as you make your way down this new path...)

24 comments:

Lisa said...

It's really not easy. It's good, but it's not easy. We're preparing for year two. I can do this! I know you will too. Much luck to Sassy!

Lisa said...

Resisting the urge to crow about being first. Failed.

just making my way said...

I remember being nervous and a little weepy when I was going off to college. My Step-mom was kind of like, "What's wrong with you!?!" In retrospect, I think she snapped because it was the only way for her to hold it together - especially with me falling apart!

Best of luck to Sassy. I'm sure that bread will be warm and comforting.

noexcuses said...

Congrats to Sassy, and kudos to you for going with her, even if your heart was someplace else.

My first wasn't too bad. I was too excited for him because I did not go away, I commuted. But when he left to go back after Christmas, I totally lost it.

Thought of you today. Our local grocery store was having a big sale on Vodka....

Nice post. I'll bring the jam while you bake, okay?

a Broad said...

I was there ... I managed not to cry until we drove away leaving him in that horrid little dorm room, wondering what in the world was I going to do now.. and would he ever want to come home again.

About 6 months later my husband and I went to London .. I loved Summers more because the Boy came home but I began to look forward to winter because there would be a new trip.

Boy came home a lot during the year which was good for his mum .. who still misses him like there is an open wound somewhere near her heart : - )

Brenda Susan said...

Remember that commercial with the song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of year"? It showed parents happily riding store carts as they collected back-to-school supplies. I loved that commercial but my mom hated it.

Now that I am an empty nester.....I still don't miss them! Love them, don't miss them!

Viv said...

I know its not easy and all the carbs in your kitchen won't stop the ache you'll feel come August, but just know that no matter what she says or does, she loves you and still needs you. Believe me- I'm 30, live across the country from my mom, with whom I have a pretty tense relationship with. But I love her and miss her and still need her.

Love your blog!
Viv http://parkandvivianne.blogspot.com/

Gigi said...

Mine's got two more years of high school and I'm already dreading his leaving. I keep telling him about all the wonderful colleges we have right in here in driving distance. He's ignoring me.

With that being said, she'll be fine. And so will you! x

#1Nana said...

When I left for my freshman year it was a big send off with all my family at the airport. Year two I drove the 1000 miles to Oregon. My parents were both at work. Before I left I called each of them to say goodbye. The words of wisdom from each of them..."Don't forget to go to the bathroom before you leave."

There's a heartfelt message here someplace, I'm sure of it.

J.J. said...

I have 3 brothers who lives out of state. They visit on July 4th (mom's b-day) and Christmas. The minute they leave, she says (with a sigh of relief), "I love it when they come but I love it when they leave." You'll probably understand someday. ; )

Barrie said...

I have another year left of high school before I'm in your shoes. Yikes. Scary stuff. May Sassy do well and make you proud!

Liss said...

It's almost like sending a solider off to deployment. My Dad is still serving in the Navy - we never saw him off on the ship. We always said goodbye at the house, for much the same reasons you cite here. We'd always go to the ship to pick him up though.

Much love to you VM - I can't imagine how hard it must be to let your babies spread their wings -my time will come soon enough xxx

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

What a beautiful post. I agree Vodka, sometimes those tears are meant to be shed in private and a loaf of bread is so symbolic.

Mom24 said...

I completely get this. I've been feeling guilty because I feel very similar. I have no desire to go to orientation and sit through all the schpeals. Been there, done that. I don't need the walking tour of campus, the lecture that the university/professors will tell me nothing about how my child's doing, the talks about underage drinking, the reminders not to bring her home every weekend. She's pretty much on her own, her choices are her own. I pray she handles things well, I'll be here if she needs me, but really, it's hers now. I'm not going away to college and I don't want the baggage. I also hate to think about how very hard it's going to be on move-in day. *sigh*

Sorry about your uncle.

The Lady's Lounge said...

My oldest is moving out next week.
I thought I'd be more relieved...
I also thought I'd be more upset.
I'm a little confused...

Joanna Jenkins said...

Sorry to hear about your Uncle. Hope you can break out of the sessions early.
xo

Joanie M said...

Well, you know what happened when I sent my youngest off to college. the 2 older ones graduated unscathed though!

CatLadyLarew said...

My son spent his first year of college 1000 miles away. Too far for both of us. Now he's much closer and enjoys being able to pop home regularly... maybe even too regularly!

only a movie said...

I'm so sorry about your uncle, VM.
Great advice for parents here... ack.

WeaselMomma said...

I'm sorry for your loss and no you are not weird and uncaring about all the nonsense info that they feed parents at college orientation. I'd be looking for the proper bin too as my eyes glazed.

Suzy said...

My pie chart would have noted the tremendous volumn of red wine bottles hidden under the kitchen sink in my parents' apt in Paris.

My grandfather ratted me out to them and I had to work VERY HARD to convince them not to fly in to Paris and beat the crap out of me.

Yes, too much information is a dangerous thing.

Zip n Tizzy said...

Your poor son... Looks like he'll be driving himself to college ;)
But, we love them. (Just not the paperwork!)

Anna See said...

I know what you mean about trying to be anonymous, or not really being "into" the college orientation scene. When I'm going through a big life change, I don't feel like chatting up a bunch of strangers in a cafe, you know.

Thinking of you both during this transition...

Mimi Lenox said...

My sympathies on your loss.
We will be here for August as well.
Start baking.