Last night I dropped my 12 year old daughter off at an overnight volleyball camp at a local college.
We got there right as sign up was beginning so we were able to quickly get her packet and head to her dorm room.
She was psyched when she walked in. There were three bunks, three dressers, and three desks in her room. Since she was the first there, she picked the highest of the beds.
Her excitement was obvious as she pulled out her sheets and made her bed. (I know… I about fell over upon seeing it. At home, it’s like pulling teeth to get her to make her bed.) Then she went to work filling up her dressers – folding her t-shirts neatly. Each article of clothing had it’s own spot in the dresser. The drawers even closed when she was done. I picked my jaw off the floor… her drawers never close at home.
By this time her roommates had arrived. They were girls she goes to school with so she knows them well. That’s when I became unneeded. “You can go now Mom. I got this.”
“Are you sure?” I replied. “You know where you need to be tonight? Remember, you need to turn your form in if you want pizza later. Keep your dorm key with you. Did you remember your shampoo? How about your deoderant? Do you know where the showers are? Text me every night, ok?”
“MOM! I’ll be fine. You can go. I promise I will call you.”
So I went. Yes, I was a little sad, but mostly I was happy for her. She was having a blast and couldn’t wait to have a little bit of freedom.
When I got home – I went to work immediately cleaning the kitchen. For 3 days I’m going to be able to have a clean kitchen!! Woohoo! No grease stains on the stove from her careless hamburger cooking. No Pledge accidentally squirted on the floor (seriously, the whole family was slipping and sliding for a week, until it finally rubbed off). No sticky finger prints on the fridge door, the microwave window, the counter tops. No pile of pony tail holders, lipgloss, magazines at her eating place.
No energetic, bubbly, random chats. No chirpy melody announcing received text messages. No sweet scented blonde head laying on my lap in the evening, keeping me company during Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives…..
It’s gonna be a long 3 days for me. Yes, my kitchen will be clean, but I miss her. I don’t even want to think of the magnitude of sadness I will have when she leaves for college. Luckily I still have about 5 years before that happens. So for the next 5 years, I am going to soak up everything about her. And see beyond her piles of clutter to the sweet, happy-go-lucky, beautiful girl that I am lucky to have in my life.