We dropped our son off at CalPoly yesterday. Ok, let’s reword that…We did NOT drop him off – we moved him in. Started around 9:30, left at 4…not quite a drop off!
We had read we should just drop him off, unpack, let him sort out his room. Instead, I asked our son what he would like. “Do you want us to help unpack?” “Do you want me to put your clothes away?” and “I really want to make your bed for you, is that ok?”
Once he and his roommate figured out the layout of the room, getting creative because of, yes, the lack of electrical outlets, we got busy ‘setting him up.’
The 3 of us unpacked, put things away, organized drawers, decided where lamps went, took out snacks, stored things under the bed. His dad helped him set up the computer.
And I made the bed…made it as comfy as possible with a mattress topper (oh, those ugly navy blue vinyl mattresses), fluffy mattress pad, new cotton knit sheets, soft comforter.
Making his bed was important to me, above and beyond the rest – it had to do with his comfort, and how well he would sleep (which makes me laugh knowing he will probably be up all night and only getting very few hours of sleep…but those hours will be comfortable and warm and cozy – like home!)
And as I wandered the dorm, passed other rooms, talked to other parents, watched his roommate’s mom, I noticed making the bed seemed to be an important task to every other mom on the floor.
Important to bring an intimate ‘piece’ of home for our boys, trying to replicate a bit of the place where we had read to them, sang to them, stroked their hair, cuddled them, often gently waking them up to get ready for school as they got older, and even recently, where we still had some of the best conversations at the end of the day, or the middle of the night when we got up to go to the bathroom and noticed their light still on in their rooms.
It was the best day. Six hours went by quickly. We were done. It was time to go. Our son asked us to close his dorm room door so we could have some privacy.
He hugged us both so tightly and told us how much he will miss us. How different this will be. How excited he was about being there. How nice his room looked. How comfy the bed looked :). And how he liked being sandwiched between 2 floors of all girls 🙂 ! He said how much he loved us. He got tears in his eyes. We all did.
But I did not get the ugly face (I did that yesterday in the privacy of our own home, telling him how excited I was for him, how big a piece of my heart he has, and how I will miss him.)
He put drops in his eyes, and he walked us to our car for one last hug – “this feels like it happened all of a sudden,” he said.
Yes. Suddenly after 18 years. Then here he is, a man, on his own, excited (and maybe a teeny bit nervous.)
With much love and pride, we watched him go back across the street and up the stairs. We looked at each other, smiled, sighed, and left the CalPoly campus.
3 hour-drive, on to the next chapter, talking with each other almost the whole way, and not at all totally about our son. Got Chipotle takeout and came home…to a slightly emptier space.
Now what? I’m not totally sure.
But I do, with certainty, know that we are all ok.