Our firstborn heads to college this week.


What the what?!?

I remember leaving the hospital with Hope almost nineteen years ago, strapping her in the carseat, huddled over her thinking I could protect her somehow on that short ride home.

college bound

In a few days we’ll be strapping her stuff in a car and driving away toward her first year at college and exciting new adventures.

The only thing that has remained the same over the years is that somehow I think I can protect her from all the bumps that life will bring, huddling and hovering to shield her from any of the bad stuff. As if anything we can do as parents can prevent that. Still, we try.

Don’t get me wrong. We are so very proud of our daughter and more excited for her adventures ahead than we ever expected to be. We are looking forward to watching her fly, but it’s still going to be quite a big change for our family of four.

The short months of summer have been filled with fun jaunts to shop for her dorm room (hunting down the perfect pillow combination for her bed is crucial), hanging out with Melissa, her roommate, orientation, and filling out forms upon forms. I know I’ve missed something among all the forms.

Now as we gather all the things to make her temporary home away from home cozy, I find there is a permanent lump in my throat. Keeping myself busy has been my modus operandi. A few days ago I responded to a friend’s text who had asked how I was doing. All I could muster was that “I’m doing. I just keep doing.” And I immediately thought of Dory from the Nemo, because that’s about my level, “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim … ”

I’ve been doing a lot of swimming. Unfortunately my normal mode of swimming, creating content to share here with you, was interrupted last week when I had some techy stuff going on with the site. Nothing major. Just routine maintenance that I’ve been putting off. There were a few days where I needed to just leave the site alone and let it get settled. Techy stuff always stresses me out, so by mid-day on Monday when the combination of the last days of summer were flying by, the pile of things bound for college was growing and my hands being tied while She Wears Many Hats was being situated just about put me over the edge, I had an overwhelming urge to just lay down on the floor and cry. But I didn’t. What did I do? I kept swimming.

So once I muddled through Monday, the rest of the week was a random mix of crazy from me. I thought I’d share it with you, because I know I can’t be alone in my dysfunction.

Monday: I love technology. I hate technology. Computer stuff.

Tuesday: While Hope was out shopping with a friend, I thought I’d help her with dorm room planning, by making a blueprint of her floor plan with all the movable pieces and parts. It grew from a flat 1-dimensional floor plan into a scale model of the room. “Please excuse the crudity of the model …” Dr. Emmett Brown, for all of you Back to the Future nerds, would be impressed. Dude, I was swimming. We all swim in different ways. I make things with paper, foam core, and tape. And yes, Hope thinks I’ve lost my mind. By the way, she did add the paper version of herself.

homemade dorm room model just keep swimming

Wednesday: More techy head-spinning stuff that filled most of the day with phone calls to discuss things that I have no idea about. Basically my hands were still tied so I cleaned my belly button. If nothing else was to be completed that day, I could go to bed knowing that I had cleaned my belly button.

Thursday: I woke up and cleaned the shower. It was gross. Now it’s not. I played with the mini dorm room and began organizing all the college bound stuff in boxes.

Friday: I cleaned the bathroom sinks, piddled a bit more, wrote a post, then took a shower and got out of the house to clear my head and run some errands. As I was looking at home organization/storage things for Hope’s dorm, scenes from Toy Story 3 popped in my head and I almost broke down right there in the middle of the bathroom organizational aisle thinking of how could I possibly be shopping for home organization/storage things for Hope’s dorm. It’s just not right.

So, there you have it. Just a few days left before we take our darling little girl to school. How can it be? It’s incredibly hard to comprehend how fast all the years have gone. What will the rest of this week bring? I’m not sure. But you can be sure that there will be more swimming. Definitely more swimming.