This weekend was extremely bittersweet for all of us. We brought DJ to college. He’s off. On his own. Ready to start his adventure. The ride up to Boston on Labor Day weekend took longer than it would normally take because of traffic, but we kind of relished in the fact that we had a few extra hours with him.
Drop off was on Saturday and it was almost surreal. He met his roommates, (he’s in a triple) and we met their parents. They had already talked online so they had already planned on what each of them would bring for their room. Their little room somehow fits the three of them, their beds, desks and wardrobes with a bit of room to spare.
We went to the bookstore and he picked up his order…which turned out to be wrong…and went to the convocation which was really nice. One of the benefits of this small school, (the Freshman class is about 550 students – about the same size as his high school), is how personal everyone is. I think it will really fit DJ’s learning style and personality. After several very motivating speakers, the last one left the parents and families with two words, “Go home.”
We walked him back to his room, told him we would walk as far as the bookstore, where he could take care of the book error on his own. His first step to independence I guess, but I don’t know why I think that. He is sooooo much more independent than I ever was at his age. He’s been working since he was fourteen, managing his own accounts, does his laundry, drives everywhere and is overall a really responsible guy but I guess it was just an emotional moment for all of us. Big hugs, no tears and we walked off in separate directions.
Our car ride back to the hotel was pretty quiet. We made small talk with Drew and talked about the convocation, the roommates and the dorm room. The three of us had dinner together. “Party of three” sounded a bit odd. Dave and I each had a glass of wine with dinner, we had promised not to text him right away, but he sent a text to me while we were eating and told me he was nervous. It was the first time I got weepy. Maybe it was the wine…but maybe it was not. I reassured him, reminded him of the stories about my freshman year roommate, (let’s just say we didn’t last more than the year together – but that is a blog of its own,) and tried to ease his jitters. I joked with him that I could send him the book I just read to my Kindergarteners, “First Day Jitters.” It was the first time he let on that he was nervous and it kind of broke my heart.
He wound up having a great Sunday and Monday, that started with a tour of Fenway Park. While he was there got to meet some of the Red Sox, walk out on the field and stayed for a game. A dinner cruise on the Boston Harbor gave him more time to meet people and again, he seemed okay. That night nerves set in again – the same way it always is with me. Night is when my brain runs wild, I guess his does too!
Today he begins classes. Once he gets started with those, and begins to make friends with people with similar interests, it will get better. I promised him that.
So many of my friends have just gone through the same process. I have been told for years that the first few weeks are the toughest and I believe them. DJ wasn’t a summer camp kid. He rarely slept away from home, unless it was at my parents’ house so it is new for him and I get it. He is going to love it – I know he already is. He just has to give it some time. We are so proud of him….
and so….the adventure begins….for all of us!