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...)