College move-in day.
The date has been circled on our calendar for a while now, but it somehow never seemed real.
In recent weeks we've registered for classes, ordered books, purchased clothes, and watched the college stockpile in our guest bedroom grow. But it was like we were planning a trip.
Last night I prepared a farewell meal. We watched home videos, we laughed and gave last minute advice, but the idea that our family of five would soon be a family of four didn't seem real.
Driving to Clemson this morning we were quiet. It was beginning to seem real, but then we arrived on campus and were caught up in a whirlwind of orange: the giant paw prints welcoming us to town, the banners hanging from every building and storefront, and the eight upperclassmen wearing orange shirts who descended on our van to help us carry everything up to Nicholas's room.
Unpacking, cleaning, making the bed ... it didn't seem real. It was fun. And exciting.
But later, when Nicholas walked us to the van, I looked at my son and reality crashed down in the form of tears and a lump in my throat that prevented me from saying goodbye, or I love you.
I couldn't even say the words.
And it reminded me of something I wrote on Nicholas' first day of Kindergarten: It seems that once a mother gives birth, she then spends the rest of her life letting her baby go.
|We left a care package on Nicholas' bed filled with notes and little gifts.|
Here is Timothy's note to Nicholas.
|Nonna & Nonno's parting gift:|
Dum-Dums for the smart college student.