Turning a page

The youngest child has moved into her new life.


We schlepped her belongings across the state and into a vine covered dormitory, up the stairs through a throng of wide-eyed freshmen women and their families, down the long hallway, and finally deposited at the end room with two roommates and their hoards. The room looks out onto a quiet, almost cloistered, courtyard with old trees and concrete benches, surrounded by carved stone buildings.


It’s a quiet, beautiful place that I’m glad of. But I do wish it weren’t so frightfully expensive.


We spent perhaps an hour cooperatively setting up the space, and then two more in frustration getting computer and internet connections into working order. We built futons, arranged shelves, positioned what must be the largest tv ever to sit in that room, fussed and fretted over trivia and ephemera. They they fed us lunch, herded us into a communal prayer, dispersed us to the re-assurances of faculty advisors, and then kicked us out.


The days here have been weirdly quiet since. We have regular contact with our child, but the trash and chaos of life has abated somewhat, as the confusion and mayhem and detritus of our daily existence are now entirely dependent on the ramblings and forgetting of two aging partners… Our messes simply do not move very fast, or with much purpose. We take care of pets and plants and wonder why it feel so strange to be in our own house.

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7 Responses to Turning a page

  1. This post brought back LOTS of memories. My youngest just graduated from college this year, and at the ceremony I found myself wistfully thinking of that day we moved him into his freshman dorm room. I fretted about the room being too dark and chilly, and tried to get him to take more blankets and a floor lamp. He couldn’t wait for me to leave so he could go exploring with his new dorm mates. It took a while for me to stop bawling every time I heard his voice on the phone, but I still get a little lump in my throat when I see him ready to head off on another adventure.

    You will soon exhilarate in your new freedom, however. Trust me, that first road trip you guys take without a scowling teenager in the backseat will make you feel like kids yourselves again. 😉

  2. Freedom Smith says:

    We just moved our 19 year old into his dorm room on Friday. I was sad. He is a wonderful young man and I will sure miss having him at home.

    We were very fortunate that at the college where he is attending, we pulled our car up, and there were people that unloaded all of his things, put them on a cart and took them up to his room! It was fantastic.

    We stayed a little while and then, after hugs goodbye, we left. He thanked us for that the next day when our family went to an orientation lunch with him. He said a suite mate’s parents stayed and bickered about where things should go. That is shocking to me, that they would still be hovering like that.

    We have three teenage age girls at home. I wonder what that will be like. In three years, two of my girls will be headed off. In five years, my youngest will head off. I think I will lose it at that point. Life seems like it would be totally boring without them around, since my husband stays busy with work so much. I hope to still be here to see what it is like! (health-wise).

    • Doug says:

      I don’t think it’s been hugely emotional for me, just weird. If we do the things parents are supposed to do (or even if we don’t) they have to go a make their own way.

  3. akamonsoon says:

    It sounds like its going to be a big adjustment for yourself and your wife. I wish you the best of luck with it and also I hope that it will be a time of new discoveries for you both.

  4. It is a big adjustment and change for all. Thanks for sharing.

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