The College Drop-Off….


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more bittersweet milestones. Nearly 19 years ago, I could never have fathomed that the day would come when we would be dropping Nick off at college. Seriously, I never even let this kid ride the school bus. But low and behold, our summer came to a screeching halt and there we were; loading up the truck.

I must admit, while Nick was somewhat apathetic, I had great fun treasure hunting; gathering each and every little necessary item (and completely unnecessary items) for life in the dorms. We were tripping over the stuff as it was spilling out of our guestroom, into the hall. I guess I thought if I made his surroundings as comfortable as possible, his room would feel like home; a comfortable bed, a cozy chair, a throw blanket made with love from Amanda, his favorite snacks, even posters duplicated from his bedroom in the form of movies classics like Slap Shot and Caddyshack.

The day we left was complete and total chaos. Before we raced out the door, Nick visited Rick the Barber for a haircut and he set up Skype with my mom, his Nana. While he was out and about, Chuck and I stacked our Yukon XL to the rafters. We had so much stuff, there was scarcely room for our student! Finally, Chuck, Nick and I piled into the car and hit the road. Thankfully, school is only 3 hours away.

On our way, we made a detour so Nick could spend a little time hitting a bucket of balls, chipping and putting. When we finally pulled into the Inn, we were ravenous and ready for our Last Supper; just the three of us. As we settled in for the night, we decided to watch a movie. I wanted to watch Toy Story 3, but Nick said, “There’s no reason for Mom to start crying right now when she has all day tomorrow.” I suppose he had a point. Wedding Crasher’s it was!

Drop off day was an absolute blur with so much to do and so little time. Thankfully, the university had it down to a science; you pulled up, 15 volunteers helped unload your car and brought everything up to Nick’s room. By the time Chuck parked the car, we were unpacking. Thankfully we were alone in Nick’s triple, allowing us time to loft and bunk the beds and get totally organized.

 The rest of our day went by in a flash; unpacking, settling in, meeting the roommates, ID’s, laptop support, checking the mail box, signing up for the work-study program, meeting his mentor group, the convocation ceremony. Suddenly, it was time for Chuck and I to say good bye. Elton John says, “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.” Clearly he’s never said good bye to a beloved child, because that is truly the hardest word. I tried to be brave, but as I held my boy, I wept. Not only do I love Nick, but I really and truly adore him. While I know I should be so excited for all the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead for him, I can’t help but mourn the loss of having this bright, funny, talented, amazing kid in our life each and every day.

What surprised me the most was the abruptness of the entire situation. Thursday morning was life as we knew it; I shagged Nick out of bed so he could get to the caddyshack on time, I toasted him a breakfast pastry (breakfast of champions), and laid out a fresh caddy shirt. Friday morning, we packed up the car and by Saturday, we had him moved into his new home away from home. By Sunday….crickets.

I just got off the phone with my Nick and I can’t even begin to tell you how good it was to hear his voice again. Fall break won’t get here soon enough!

More milestones, more dorm living, more new experiences, more absence making the heart grow stronger……

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “The College Drop-Off….

  1. Brenda

    You’ve summed it up perfectly! Luckily, they are close and have cell phones and Skype! It does get easier, Vanessa, and you’ll learn to love the extra time on your hands. They have to grow up, and you’ve done the best job that a mom could possibly do. Now, sit back and watch him fly!

    • Thank you Brenda…..I know you’re right, but I miss him already. I can’t wait to hear all of his stories and anecdotes. I’m sure you are feeling how fleeting time is with Will off to HS this year. Time sure flies! Maybe more time for reading for book club. xoxo V

  2. Arlicia Mayes

    That was so touching but yet entertaining. We just dropped my cousin Jasmine off last weekend at Emory in Atlanta. Her mom cried all the way home and lives for 10:30 at night when she can talk to her on skpye. Like I told Jas, I will miss her but I wasn’t going to cry, because this is one of the milestone moments we have been waiting for, for the last 18 years. Hang in there and with each day it will get easier and you will learn to enjoy those private moments that you gave up for your kids. Thanks for sharing the ups and down of college life that most never discuss.

    • Thank you so much for visiting and for your comforting words. Amanda says she loves the sound of your voice because it is so gentle! !
      I hope your sweet Jasmine enjoys her college experience and that her mom adjusts to her absence. Without our Nick, our home is so quiet. He’s called everyday to check in and share all that’s new this week. He’s excited and we’re hanging on the edge of our seats! We hope to see you soon for the Indoor season. Be well…..Vanessa

  3. This site is fun. I enjoyed visiting your site. This is the kind of blog I want to visit to start my day. Being a mom is not that easy. I’ll be back soon for more discussions. As of the moment I’ll just leave a quick post just letting you know I love your blog.

  4. Margo

    I finally felt I was ready to open your blog without sobbing. Tears yes, but no breath gulping sobs. The car ride home is the only place for sobbing!! My sister reminded me that when we took on the job of motherhood we did sign up for letting our children go. It is just part of motherhood! And as far as I am concerned you get an A+ in that mom department! So we have become quite skilled at texting and skyping and slowly but surly we let go. I do think we (Nick, Grace, Amanda, Sarah, Chuck, Doug and of course the moms) are going to make it! Thanks for sharing. I love laughing and sometimes crying with you!

    • Margo…You are so sweet. I must say, however, that I never got the “letting go” memo 😉
      Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot, particularly because I know what a devoted mom you are to Grace, Sarah and Ralph. I agree with you, I think we’ll become accustomed to the arrangement and be especially appreciative for the moments that we will share together. They’ll be even more special. Now, what are we going to do without Sarah and Amanda? Thank God for our husband’s and our furry children! Be well!! xoxo V

  5. Nancy

    Hi Vanessa….. As all of our kids head off to college, I immediately thought of you! Knowing that we have all been through it, and survived hopefully brings you some comfort! ( While still bittersweet, it does get easier the second year!) Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful stories, and rest assured Nick will do wonderfully having such devoted and wonderful parents!
    Love to see you soon!
    Nancy

    • Nancy….Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement. It’s crazy how emotional this experience is. The kids are headed off to college not Timbuktu! Though there is such a void in our daily lives. Funny things like the number of lights and TV’s that are on and the noticeable reduction in our grocery bills. We are excited for Nick and all of the kids headed back to school. We can’t wait to hear the crazy stories and anecdotes. Would love to catch up soon with you too!! Vanessa

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