Yesterday I dropped Hope off at summer school.
It was kind of surreal. I got a taste of what my parents must’ve felt when they took me to my first summer program years ago. I went to a two-week writing program at Hampton University. I remember packing up the car with my things, arriving and watching my mom look around my dorm room with a bit of disdain about my living conditions. She and Daddy were at least happy that we had air conditioning.
I remember my parents looking around at how far the boys’ dorm was from the girls’ dorm. I recall them asking about the course schedule and fretting about whether I would be ok.
I’m now convinced that they were worried about whether they would be ok.
As I helped Hope lug her stuff to her dorm room and unpack I was really struggling to keep my emotions in check. In the week before move in, I realized just how much I’m going to miss my beautiful girl. I spent time indulging her with favorite foods, sweets, cuddles with Yappy and me on the couch. I hugged her, kissed her cheek and just loved on her. By the time Hope used her key card to open her dorm door I was sporadically holding my breath. I was excited to give her this opportunity at something more. I felt worried about whether she’d like the food and if she’d make friends. I had mixed emotions about her not having a roommate but thought having her own space might be nice sometimes. I was happy she had her weighted blanket. I was miffed that she forgot her pillow and a few other things, even though I knew we would need to make a Walmart run because…don’t you always need to make a Wallyworld run when you move into a dorm?
I knew I would miss her so much. I knew Yappy would also look for her like he did this morning.
In the couple of days before move in, Hope just…sank. I knew she wasn’t excited about going, that there was a lot of anxiety about it and that my daughter was just resigned to go since I didn’t give her any other options once she was admitted. To see her withdraw broke my heart and I began to question my decision.
Oh, she was still going, but I wondered if sending her to an academic boarding program would hurt us. I wondered if the return on investment would give Hope a leg up this year, increase her confidence, help her with her social skills…I don’t expect a miracle, but I definitely hope to see Hope grow some this summer, but I pray that any growth doesn’t at the expense of our relationship.
It’s funny, I sold this experience to Hope as a chance to try on a bit of what it might feel like to go away to college. What I didn’t really appreciate is that it would be a chance for me to try on an empty nest. It feels strange that she didn’t walk through the door a little after 3pm or that she wasn’t here to ask me how I slept last night, something genuine and endearing she does every single day. It was strange to buy groceries for one after all this time.
I’m eager to hear from her tonight. I want to know how the first day was, how the food is, does she get along with her suitemate. I’m also hopeful that she’s having such a great evening, that she doesn’t get around to calling or texting me before lights out.
It’s all awesome and sucky all at the same time.
July 3rd, 2018 at 3:39 am
Awww man, I can relate to the feeling. Being a mum is an indescribable experience. One minute you’re happy your daughter is experiencing something new the next you’re thinking maybe I should keep her all to myself. Then again, if you don’t let them go they will never grow.
I’m sure she will eventually ease into the programme and you will have her back home before you know it.
July 3rd, 2018 at 8:17 am
Wow that is tough but I am hopeful it will be what Hope needs to help her get to where she can better meet her potential. You got this Mom it is tough but she knows you love her and I am confident your attachment will stay intact.
July 3rd, 2018 at 10:47 am
I am sitting here drinking my coffee, trying to wake up, catching up on my blogs, vlogs, and podcasts. Pumpkin is adamantly complaining about having to go to camp at the end of the week. Apparently, I don’ t love her AT ALL. The older kids are complaining that they are too old to go to camp and Pumpkin has it SO EASY. With all of this cacophony, I thought I read that you are hoping that Hope gets along well with her suitcase. I puzzled over that for a few minutes and am now on-board. I think the adults should just leave the kids at home and the adults should go to camp!
July 3rd, 2018 at 12:02 pm
Gosh, I know it’s so, so hard, but this just sounds like an awesome opportunity for both of you. She’ll learn a little confidence and self-reliance with you cheering her on from afar. You’ll get some alone time to recharge. Absence makes the heart grow fonder! Hang in there and enjoy it while it lasts – you’ll be back into the whirlwind of another school year before you know it! 🙂
July 11th, 2018 at 8:09 pm
Hey girl! It’s been a while since I logged in to comment, but I read all your posts via email and I love them all. I can relate to so much of what you share. It’s just that I have five of them. And I have a son who feels the same way as Hope does about school…and it drives me CRAZY! I was always driven on my own, no one had to push me. And I feel like all I do now is push, push, push… I feel your pain. I hope you’ve truly been able to enjoy the time that you have apart this summer. And who knows, maybe this is the taste she needs to realize that yes, she can do this. Yes, she will be OK. And yes, you will still be there for her even after she’s been out of the house for a while.