August looms ever closer, and plans are being solidified. I’m still having trouble grasping the fact that in one month and 17 days, my daughter will no longer be a teenager, and I definitely can’t believe that she’s truly venturing out on her own, without any major financial support from us. Wild.
Only three months until we leave for our cross-country drive; Aubrey hopes to beat the job rush by getting to town a little early, before five colleges’ worth of students are vying for the few things available in the area. It would be especially nice if she could find employment in the tiny shopping center across the street from school, since that would decrease her need for a car, and by association, her need to drive on ice and snow for six months.
Last time I drove in Massachusetts was during the freak snow storm on Halloween weekend. We got snowed in to the dorm, which was an absolute blast, and I love the girls who accepted me as one of them, and not as a parent. There’s something magnificent about being in a circle of young women who are some of the country’s best and brightest; conversation is never boring, and they are all inquisitive yet steadfast in their beliefs.
The night we lost power and literally could not open a door to get out, Aubrey and I ventured into the common room where a music major gave an impromptu concert on the grand piano (there is a grand piano in every dorm at MHC). After that, about 20 of us pushed chairs, sofas, and pillows into a circle, and everyone brought snacks from their rooms and piled them in the center of the circle. Chocolate abounded, as did tea made by the tea queen of the dorm. I laughed when a guy came through to salt the stairs and sidewalk, and all the girls raced to the window to watch him. Such is the nature of an all girls’ school; guys are a rare sighting for those trapped on campus. These feminists were just as raunchy in their comments as construction workers towards women walking by. The funniest comment was, “Come in, come in! We have snacks!”, made to the soundproof glass.
This time round, I won’t be on campus with her as much, and I’ll miss it. Of course, there is Parents’ Weekend, which I’ll hopefully be able to attend, but after that, I won’t see her until Christmas. Amy (her dog) is going to freak out, and will likely lick holes in her legs, yet again. I wish we could move closer, sooner, rather than having to wait for two years. But it is difficult to buy a house when one is loaded down with debt, and difficult to rent a house when one has two dogs and a cat.
Since I can’t drive 2000 miles by myself (at least, not in a timely manner, and not safely), Ron is going to fly up to meet me, and then we’ll drive home together. It will give him the chance to fall in love with New England and understand what we mean when we talk about passing through five towns in twenty minutes. For me, after living in Texas for most of my life, where it takes eight hours to get the hell out of the state (unless you’re going to Mexico, and then it’s only an hour and a half to three hours depending on where you cross), living in a state that can be traversed in two hours or less is pretty phenomenal. Hell, it takes longer than that just to get to Houston from where we live, and we used to make that drive two or three times a year.
I am going to sorely miss all the things that Aubrey does around here…she makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches and perfect iced tea, drives to get my meds, reminds me to order my meds, drives me to the dentist, does half the grocery shopping (Ron does the other half), runs all the small errands, and most importantly, kills the giant water roaches and disposes of them properly…I don’t know who is going to do all that stuff when she’s gone.
On the plus side, I will eat fewer Doritos, much fewer Sonic tots, and even less McDonald’s fries. I’ll also have fewer bean and cheese tacos. Last time she was at school, I dropped 15 lbs during that first semester. I’m too lazy to get my own crappy food ;-P