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I Thought I Was Ready
August 12th, 2017, we moved our first born to her college dorm room. Our daughter. The one who entered this world emergency C-section because she decided to do a full cartwheel in her umbilical cord. The one who entered this world blue, not breathing, weighing 4 lbs. 5 oz. The one who I held crying thinking she wasn’t going to survive. The one who saw more sick days in her first two years of life than not. The one who learned to talk with a pacifier in her mouth. The one who marched to the beat of her own drum as she grew dealing with bullies, emotional disorders, and ADHD. That’s our girl. High School graduation came, and she was ready! I was ready! She fought hard her last two years of school bringing her GPA up. Her dad and I always nearby to assist her in whatever she needed. We couldn’t have been prouder. My husband, Danny held back tears as he watched her march down that field being announced as a “High School Graduate” the summer flew by and August 12thwas here before we knew it. So, why wasn’t I ready? I have to say I was calm, cool and collected until the morning of move in day. I just knew in my mind how I wanted this day to go. All 5 of us together, moving the big sister into her first dorm room. Sounds fun, right? Well, the day started out a little rough. Danny thought we would set the alarm for 5 and be out the door by 6. AM! Um, no. I knew he wouldn’t wake up so I set the alarm for 6:30 hoping we would be out the door by 8 at the latest. It was a 3-hour ride on back roads to get to her college. There’s no straight shot or highway to get there. Yeah. Not enjoyable. So, we were all ready to leave around 8:30 when Danny couldn’t find his wallet. Needless to say, by the time we found it and got on the road we didn’t make it to the dorm until 1:00 pm. There were people EVERYWHERE! It was chaos and it was HOT outside! One elevator, and one set of stairs with people lined up out the door with rolling carts to get into the elevator. Once we found out what floor she was on we decided to hit the stairs. We found her room and inside her roommate was already settled into her room and had it neatly decorated and everything put away. I stayed with Kaylei and Blakely (youngest daughter who’s 5) started helping her put stuff away as quickly as possible. Danny and Griffin (our son who’s 12) went back downstairs to get more items out of the back of the truck. They were gone for quite a while about the time I thought about it Danny came walking into the room drenched in sweat and says, “you’re NOT going to believe this” and my natural response is “what?” he says, “I’ve tried everything to get it open but Griffin broke the tailgate handle and it won’t open, we cannot get anything out of the back because the hard cover (back-flip) is locked down also” I of course reply with “You’ve got to be kidding me?” He decided to call campus police to help pry up the backflip and stick a metal hanger type contraption in there to pull the release on the backflip. That took an hour and a half but it did work thank goodness! But, we were running out of time. We didn’t have the correct command strips to hang her items on the wall, she forgot her new alarm clock at home, surge protectors and on and on. Not to mention we hadn’t eaten anything since early in the morning and it was almost 5 o’clock. As we were rushing to get the last remaining items up to her room I noticed a lot of the parents were leaving and students were getting settled. I could see several moms embracing their child and crying. I had been holding back tears for several days and I could feel it welling up. I had to tell myself STOP, we are NOT crying right now we have to get this DONE! We all decided to grab a bite to eat, run to Kmart, and get her back to the dorm for her mandatory 7 pm meeting for incoming freshman. By the time we got back to her dorm she had maybe 30 minutes before she had to start walking to the meeting. I was NOT ready! I was NOT ready to leave her! I was NOT ready; her room wasn’t complete! No, this wasn’t happening. This isn’t how I wanted this day to go. Danny says to me, “okay, give her a hug and kiss and let’s go”. I’m thinking to myself, “will I ever be ready for this”? I said to Danny, “NO, I’m NOT ready” and these dreaded words came next “Alicia, we have to leave her. She can finish how she wants it to be” and then, the tears came…… Kaylei reached out and hugged me and says “no crying momma, don’t cry. I’m going to be fine I promise” of course she will be fine, right? We were exhausted and we still had a 3hour ride back home. She started out the door to her meeting and leaned back in the doorway to blow me a kiss and off she went. I HAD to be ready now. There was no turning back. Tuition had been paid, meal plan paid, she’s moved in and she’s ready! We finished up a few last remaining items to make it a little homier feeling and I wrote “we love you” on her dry erase calendar, turned out the lights and off we went. I don’t know if she will ever know how I felt at that moment getting into the truck and pulling away watching out the window and the flood of thoughts and worry crept into my mind. Here’s how it went………”I wonder if they will have breakfast in the morning, I hope she doesn’t sleep all day, she really needs to get out and meet people and be social, I hope she doesn’t have a problem buying her books, I can’t call her constantly or text her, I hope she packed enough sinus medicine she was getting a runny nose before we left, how much gas does she have in her car, I forgot to give her a copy of her insurance card, how do I mail her something, don’t go into her bedroom when we get back home, I wonder if she packed all the clothes she really wanted.”…… Constantly running through my mind, all the way home. The 3rdday after was probably the most emotional one for me. It’s been an adjustment for sure not having her at home. I am truly excited for her. I know she will do great things. Future Veterinarian Dr. Kaylei. Sounds pretty good!
-Alicia Howe Realtor/mom/wife, follow my blog @ GaRealtorMomBlog.wordpress.com