August 17, 2013

Ringo in College

We took my eldest son to college today. It was a family event.

Some observations:

There was a full fledged moving van in the parking lot. WTH? What were they moving in, quintuplets?

The dude who wrote the Mars Venus book? He could have written a chapter just by sitting on a college campus on move in day and observing the differences right then and there.

Boys move in big screen TVs, sound equipment, and gaming equipment.

Girls move in armfulls of 5 foot long fake sunflowers, pink squishy chairs, and big throw pillows.

Function meet aesthetics... and one day you all will decide to join under one roof, not understand why you struggle to communicate, buy some book about Mars and Venus... a book that could have been written by just watching you as 18 year olds moving into your dorm.

Girls decorate their dorms, obviously from what I saw moving in. I mean... full on decorate.

Meanwhile, we stopped by Publix on our way because Ringo forgot thumbtacks. They are used to hang his Steelers jersey on the wall. That's the extent of the decor in their room.

But hey, those football players look nearly life size on that big damn TV. (His roommate's... Ringo supplied the sound system.)

Dear God, thank you for the invention of Visa. I cannot actually type how much I put on my Visa today between buying a food plan so he's guaranteed one meal a day and putting cash in his account. I dread the bill coming in... because his books will be on that bill too. Ugh.

As I was running down to the parking lot, I came upon a woman who had just hugged her daughter. I watched her daughter leave, and then the woman cried the entire way back to her car.

Full on uncontrollable sobbing.

I was heartbroken for her. I was so sad for her.

I got my load out of the car and took it upstairs. I said to Ringo's roommate's Mom, 'I just saw a woman crying in the parking lot. I was so very sad for her... there was nothing I could do...'

And his roommate;s Mom said, 'She'll be OK. When we moved 'Luke' in this summer with Ringo, I cried for a week. I'm not kidding... I full on cried for a week. I'd be washing dishes, and I'd be crying. I'd cook... and I'd cry. Finally my husband said, 'Honey, you have to quit crying. I can't take it anymore..." and I just kind of pulled it together"

I wasn't sure what to say. I never shed a tear. I feel like such a frickin' heel. All these Moms...

As I left today, I pulled Ringo into a hug, kissed his neck and whispered, "Just because I am not crying, doesn't mean I don't miss you..." and we left.

So many sad mothers tonight. Sometimes... I think I must be broken. Or maybe I just worry about so many other things... I don't have time to cry.

Posted by Boudicca at August 17, 2013 09:53 PM

You conveyed in words what others did in tears. There's no difference. You're not broken! Just have a different gift of expression.

Posted by: mom at August 17, 2013 10:11 PM

I never stuck around after dropping my kids off at preschool or kindergarden or the like... I never went to the 'boo hoo' breakfast... because I was the only one NOT crying. Not one tear. I just heard a mom talking about the first time her son went with his dad to a scout camp... and she cried... when he graduated middle school, she cried. I had nothing I could say. Not one word. I love my kids but I don't cry over stuff like that.

Posted by: vwbug at August 18, 2013 06:14 AM

Um... well damn! We bought champaign.

I knew I was doing things all wrong. heh.

Posted by: Teresa at August 18, 2013 11:14 AM

With the oldest kid, you still have others at home to herd. I was too busy to really think about it! Now that she's truly gone from our home and leading her adult life, I wish she'd come and get her stuff out of the garage! We could use the space! I can't sell it or toss it, because I don't know what she wants to keep. I've already fetched out the things I don't want her to get rid of. I still wish she'd move closer, instead of living clear across the country. Yeah, I miss her! Thank goodness for the boys. They are an effective distraction. :)

Posted by: PeggyU at August 18, 2013 12:01 PM

Well, I'll be broken with you. I was a little sad when I dropped off my daughter last year, but I didn't cry. She was so excited to be there, and I was proud of her facing it with such excitement. It's a part of growing up, and you have to let go. I think some parents don't think about that until they have they're dropping off their kid at college. Besides, when all the unexpected expenses of college come in, that's when to do some real crying, lol!

Posted by: Mrs. Who at August 18, 2013 12:04 PM

The bills.... OMG. I keep putting things on my charge card in $2000 increments. We have the money stashed in savings, but when it comes in initially, I don't want anything going through the mail. I keep cringing...

Funny story on the billing thing... I need to post that tonight.

Posted by: Bou at August 18, 2013 12:39 PM

I cried. Each and every time I left her the 1st year, most times the 2nd year, occasionally the 3rd year, and at drop off the 4th year.

Posted by: Peggy K at August 18, 2013 05:28 PM

Spot on Mars/Venus observations...

I remember with amazing clarity my Dad dropping me off at college... and me and the Missus dropping Elder Daughter off in Boston, then a daunting 1,870 miles from our home in Houston. It's an exciting moment for the newly minted college student and a bittersweet moment for Mom and Dad... and maybe a little scary, too.

It's amazing for me to contemplate Ringo as a college-age young man (and Bones with a driver's license!) But time happens, doesn't it? And that is the natural order of things.

Posted by: Elisson at August 18, 2013 08:08 PM

I was fine when we dropped her off at school. Our first one, our daughter, Daddy's Little Girl with me wrapped around her little finger afraid I'd fall off.

I was fine all the way home and the rest of the day. Until I was going to bed and saw her empty room, realizing that the initial phase of her life was over. Then came the tears. And when I came down to eat breakfast and have coffee the next morning and she wasn't there to have coffee with me and chat, that our morning ritual was over for ever. Things had changed and while I acknowledged the inevitable, I missed my morning companion. And the tears returned.

And, for the next couple of weeks, whenever we were out shopping and I bent to get her some Baby Bell cheeses, then put them back down because I don't shop for her any more. The tears would come again, because I had been getting those for her for most of her life, but no more. It got so bad my wife stopped letting me go shopping with her. Not the sobbing and all, but tears every shopping trip.

So, I sat down, thought it over and came to grips with the new phase of her life. While the little girl phase had passed, the young woman fresh to the world phase was upon us and I remembered to celebrate each phase.

And so I moved on and the sun began to shine again, well, you get the idea. I had to make runs up to the uni to provide her computer tech support and other things that she stilled needed from us, so balance was restored.

But the first one leaving shook me until I calmed down and put it into that perspective.

That you do not react this way means only that you see it and handle it differently. Not better, not worse. Not right nor wrong, just differently. It's the beauty of mankind, that we all handle similar life events differently, I believe it to be our strength.

Like you told Ringo, just because you didn't cry doesn't mean that you don't miss him, just that crying wasn't how you handled it.

Posted by: marcus erroneous at August 18, 2013 09:38 PM

Funny story... Ringo told me later that "Luke's" younger brother would take pix of their Mom crying and snapchat it to him at school. "Mom is washing the dishes... and crying." It was kind of funny, but in an affectionate way.

Posted by: Bou at August 18, 2013 10:20 PM