Going To College

Over the past few weeks, the sun room has been filling up with goods. There were blankets and sheets and comforters… computer paper and notebooks… enough hair and beauty products to restock RiteAid… snack foods and soft drinks… and suitcases filled with clothes.

Steffie is packed and ready to go to college.

Note to possible roommates: Pack light. There’s no room for you.

I have taken today off from work to facilitate packing the car and picking up any last minute items. So far, things are going smoothly because Helaine and Stef (and not Geoff) are well organized and thoughtful.

Every time we deal with packing, there is a small family conflict. Steffie has said I could go anywhere for any length of time and pack it in a ‘hobo stick’. She doesn’t mean that as a compliment.

When I moved to Florida in 1969, I packed everything I owned into a Volkswagen Beetle and still had room to pick up a hitchhiker (who then allowed me to spend the night at a dorm at Georgetown). Ah, for the good old days.

A few minutes ago the sun room was emptied into the Explorer. We’ve folded down half the back seat. Everything fit pretty easily. Of course there will be stragglers; things that won’t make it to the car until tomorrow morning.

The fact that Steffie is leaving for college is a major moment in all our lives. Must I sound like a prototypical American Dad? I remember the first moment I held her, seconds after she was born.

Parents tend to dwell on stuff like that, so no matter how old a child gets chronologically, she’s still our baby. She should still be wearing pants with snaps and a bib when she eats.

Actually, the bib when she eats isn’t a terrible idea.

Steffie’s joke over the last day has been, when I mentioned she had given blood, I should have said she is “effin’ awesome.” OK. Let me take this opportunity, she is “effin awesome.”

Yes, she’s the same baby I held in my arms at Yale/New Haven Hospital. She’s also somewhat (not totally) grown-up.

There will be temptations at college. No parents to bother her with parental guidance. No curfews. No one to check when she comes and goes and what she’s done while she’s out. In most classes, attendance isn’t taken.

I don’t expect her to be perfect.

College was my undoing. I can’t put my finger on why, but I expect the opposite will hold true for Steffie. I’m confident she will thrive. I’m just worried there won’t be room for a roommate.

We leave early (for me) tomorrow morning. There is a chance the blog won’t be updated, or will be updated very late. I’ll do my best. I’m sure there will be lots to talk about.