Archive for August 2013

Zach went to college last Saturday   Leave a comment

And when I stay busy I don’t feel it too much, but every time I slow down I start feeling a bit restless and at loose ends.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad he’s there.  He’s taken the next step into the future. He’s doing what he wants to do, and I want him to do what he seems to have been made to do.  This is part of his plan to become an entomologist (although as Greg says, he already is an entomologist, he just needs a degree to prove it). But it just feels a bit strange to be here at home day after day, and for the first time in 18 years, not have him here.

We took him to Ohio State last Saturday, went through their amazingly well-organized move-in process, and got him unpacked and the computer working within a couple of hours of our arrival on campus.  He met his roommates, we found the nearest cafeteria, and were happy to find out that the food is more than decent.  It’s actually quite good!

We did a few other things to help out, such as walking his route to his classes with him on campus, going to the bookstore to pick up orders for two of his classes, getting the bike lock working.  We took the bus south to church on Sunday to walk through how that would work, only to have it not work when the driver ran into a car that stopped in the middle of a right hand turn.  The bus driver became hysterical and we tried to help reassure her, before we set off on down High street, walking, knowing that another bus was not going to come by for half an hour.

So that didn’t turn out how we had planned, but one thing I observed was that Zach stepped up and checked with the people in the car to see if they were all right.  There were a bunch of other students on the bus, but they all stood around talking with each other.  It was Zach and a few adults who addressed the situation.  I was proud of him and glad to see him do what needed to be done.  That actually helped me.  He faced something that didn’t work as planned and stayed cool.

Late Sunday afternoon, after we escaped from a Columbus parking garage that didn’t want to let us go, we went back to his dorm and hugged him goodbye in the lobby, leaving with those final words of advice.  I had thought, all through this process of college exam testing, applications and admissions, that when the moment finally came I would probably just have one good long meltdown in the car as we went home.

That didn’t actually happen, as I was both relieved to be heading home since I was really tired from all the work and walking of the weekend, and confident that we are leaving him in good hands.  The staff and faculty at OSU have already shown a great interest in getting new students acclimated and comfortable.  And as for Zach, he’s in his own capable hands.  He has really matured a great deal in the past couple of years.

Still, for me there are some realizations I’m working through this past week.

He’s the one responsible for his actions and choices and ultimately how his future plays out.  I can’t teach, do, or help now except to be praying.

And, this change for me is both good and bad.  I’m launching a child, a friend, a student I’ve taught for the past 13 years, and hey, I guess I feel like it’s safe to say that I’m doing it “successfully”.  After all he’s going to Ohio State on scholarships, and this is the school that had President Obama as its commencement speaker last spring, so whaddya want?  I’m thrilled that he is moving forward.

But I’m also baffled at the speed at which the last three years flowed over us and baffled that my child has grown up.  I just, truly, don’t comprehend this, can’t yet wrap my mind around it totally, how he’s grown and my life will now be different.

I haven’t freaked out or cried for hours or anything like that.  I miss him most at work and transition points at home when, just two weeks ago, he would have been in my mix.  Going to church without him in the car.  Leaving the house early yesterday and remembering driving him first thing these summer mornings to volunteer.  Washing his towel and putting it away in the cabinet instead of hanging it back up.  Getting up every morning and looking into his empty, clean room.  Those little, goofy points at which it is clear that he’s not home.

So we’ll see how it goes for us, as we adjust here, and as he adjusts there.  I know one thing’s for sure – I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year!

Posted August 25, 2013 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

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