Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hand Holding

I am out of town today and tomorrow for my younger daughter's college orientation. Having already sent one daughter away to college, I felt quite prepared for the 2-day orientation session.  Maybe too prepared.  My daughter and I had already read through the course book with a fine toothed comb. We filled all the matrices in, figured out her class schedule for the next few semesters, crossed our T's and dotted our i's and were ready. When we arrived it seemed that we had already done all of the things that were going to be discussed at orientation. Our sessions started this morning at 7am and I didn't get back to my hotel room until 9pm this evening.  I think I walked 100 miles. I think I listened to 100 hours of talking. It was a nice experience was a lot of hand holding for the parents.  Oh how I would have cherished so much attention when my first daughter went away. How I longed for someone at the Naval Academy to care about how the parents were feeling and wanted our input.  Oh how nice it would have been to be greeted with cookies and coffee and buttons and posters. But NO - none of that happened with my first child. Basically the Navy takes your child away and tells you to suck it up. Your child belongs to the Navy and that is that. No hand holding.  No discussions about "feelings". The child you so lovingly raised, and adore, and cherish, and love, shows up on I-Day with a toothbrush and then you don't see or talk to them again for months. OH how I suffered!!!!  Today it was clear that this experience would be NOTHING like my first experience. In fact it was so focused on the parents, and their feelings, and their contributions, I almost felt like standing up and saying, "YOU ALL WILL LIVE!" I mean if I can say good-bye to my oldest sweetest baby - and not see or talk to her - surely we can all say good-bye to our college kids here.  Where you can call them in less than 2 minutes from walking out the door and talk to them. Where you can text them and visit them and see their dorm rooms and meet their roommates and talk with their professors and see their classrooms. I mean it is a big open door of welcome here. I felt quite certain I would survive.  Well at least today anyway.  Check with me at the end of August when I drop her off at her dorm room and drive away.  I am sure you will be able to spot me. I will be the one sobbing, "WAH I WANT MY BABY BACK!" all the way home!!!!!

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