I'm a planner by nature. Since he decided on the college he wanted to attend, I've been buying toiletries and other things he'll need for school a little at a time. Suffice to say that in late August, there is a big pile of bags, boxes and storage bins in the middle of his bedroom. I think he has enough body wash, deodorant and lotion to choke a small farm animal.
But as the time for the pending move draws closer, each trip to his room to add something else to the pile feels a little more melancholy. Part of it is the realization that my "little" boy is well on his way to adulthood. Part of it is the flashback to my own pile of college necessaries as my college move-in day drew closer. My parents had taken me shopping to get a little fridge, a stereo with a cassette player (don't laugh) and a typewriter, but it's only now as I get ready to untie the apron strings myself that I identify with what they might have been thinking as the pile started getting bigger. Did my mom ask herself if she'd given me everything I needed emotionally to survive in the world outside of our little town? Was dad secretly wondering if I'd remember to eat on a regular? Did they worry that I'd be a menace to my room and dorm mates with my quirky habits? Were they concerned that I wouldn't study but instead party like it was going out of style? I know all these things have crossed my mind in the last few weeks - and more.
Still, Friday will be here before you know it. And although I concern myself with the minutia of new towels and bed linen and making sure his new laptop is college-ready, I know I'll miss seeing him every day. I'm sure that drive back home after the last part of the pile has been transfered from his bedroom in our house to his bedroom in his new one will be a long and probably even a sad one. But I also remember making a "Temple U or Bust!" sign on a sheet of paper that I couldn't wait to stick in the back window of the van before we headed off to my college all those years ago - as well as the excitement/anxiety over what the future held that my pile created. I know my son is feeling that now, too. And I'm most happy about that :-)
Of course, I say that now. I very well may be in a tight ball, rocking myself to and fro on Saturday, though. Hey, don't judge...