Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dropped My Daughter Off At College

Taking Brie to college on Friday, and then leaving that night was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. Do you remember taking your little boy/girl to camp for the first time? Do you remember how it felt to leave them there?

What questions did you ask yourself: Are we doing the right thing? Who will make sure they're eating right? What if they get hurt, will there be someone who will know how to take care of them and love on them like I would? What if they get homesick?
Well, that's what I thought and how I felt when we went down to the campus Friday morning. I called the radio station that's part of the campus and told them I was bringing her down and that I was having a hard time. The DJ's were awesome and played a song for her.

NWC is a Christian college and their move-in day is different than any campus I know of. As you turn into the campus, you see kids on both sides of the street waving and welcoming you. As you wind your way back to the check-in, there are kids throughout the drive waving. We got her checked in and headed to her dorm.
As soon as I parked the van next to the curb, kids swarmed our van to help us unload everything! They were so upbeat at 9am! The girls that were already on campus to help with Orientation week let us walk through their rooms to see how they're set up. All the kids were so amazingly nice!!!

Brie and I were the first ones to her room. I was glad in a way that she was able to pick where her desk was, which drawers she would use, etc. Then roomie #1 came and she was a sweet girl. Her dad was with her and was helping put together the futon. Roomie #2 came and she was so upbeat! She and Brie actually had most of the same movies and had the same blankets.

I have to admit, the girls' room looked great when we all finished unpacking. They did an awesome job of coordinating before hand so very few things were duplicated. They each pitched in so that only one person didn't bring the big items. Roomie #1 had the futon, Roomie #2 had an extra fridge, and Brie brought the flat screen tv she won at her grad party!

We had some worship time together after lunch. It was so beautiful. Our pastor's wife sat next to me, and that was a mistake. She has the canny ability to make me laugh when I shouldn't. Actually, she made me start laughing right when I was about to start bawling, which this time I was thankful for.

The moment that impacted me the most was when the Orientation helpers held hands up and down the aisles of the auditorium and sang, "May the Lord bless you and keep you, may His face shine down upon you, and give you peace and give you peace and give you peace forever." I felt like they breathed a blessing over our kids through that song. Yes, I was crying. It was so tender and loving. Then they had us join in for the last time they sang it. Yah, right! I couldn't say a word.

At the end of the night was the parent meeting with the faculty. They were so sweet to us parents. They knew that there were moms and dads who were ready to have their last kid off to college, but they also knew there were some of us that were having a hard time cutting the cord. They continued to reassure us that our kids are precious to them and they will take care of them.

A parent shared about her experiences with her 2 boys attending NWC, one of whom graduated in the Spring and the other in his senior year. She actually got choked up at one point and told us she understood how hard it was to let go. Then she told us she had tissue available!

The gentleman who ran the parent meeting handed out postcards to us and asked us to write a blessing to our children. OH, let me back up for a sec to the beginning of the meeting. We sang 2 worship songs. The first was "Blessed Be Your Name" by Tree63, my little Ryan's favorite song. That sealed my fate for this meeting. Cried like a stinkin' baby. I felt like the Lord was speaking to me though, like He was reminding me that He was with Brie. I thought to myself, "If they sing 'Awesome God' by Rich Mullins I will actually wail out loud!" That was Brie's favorite song as a little girl. They didn't sing it, but sang another song that both of the boys love!

Ok, back to the postcard. The guy wanted us to write something to our kid. I managed to write the word "Baby" and then started sobbing. Do you think there was a tissue anywhere? NO! All I had brought with me was my camera and a pen! Through the sobbing, I managed to tell Brie how precious she is to me and a memory of her singing when she was a little girl, arms raised high, praising the Lord to "Awesome God". After about 5 minutes, the guy gets back up and tells us that we should read it to our kid at some point over the weekend! Are you kidding me? I could barely write her nickname and you want me to read it to her?

So, as I was leaving that night, Brie followed me outside and I told her I was supposed to read it to her. I warned her that I'd cry and she sternly told me NOT to cry as she looked at all the people who kept walking by. I asked her if she wanted me to read it Saturday and she said no because I'd cry then, too. True. So, I looked down at the card to read it and broke out sobbing! She stood there patiently waiting for me to gather myself. I read it very choppily and then gave her the card. She gave me a hug...a REAL hug, and headed to her car to move it closer to her dorm.

Then I left. Left with the same feeling as when I left her at camp for the first time when she was a little girl. I felt like I'd left 1/4 of my heart on that college campus. I was so thankful that she hugged me when I left. It wasn't one of those, "Ugh, do you have to touch me?" kind of a hug. It was a hug like she liked me!!

On my way home I stopped at Wal Mart and picked up some groceries and other items I knew she was going to need. I was so emotionally exhausted I could barely see straight! I got home and put away the fridge stuff, then climbed into Brie's bed and fell right to sleep!

3 comments:

Nora St. Laurent said...

OOH, Mimi;

My daughter is in her Senior year this year. I can't imagine it right now. Thanks for sharing your heart friend. "CHANGE" that's what this life is all about. Just when you get used to things they change!! I know I don't like that. Thanks helping me get ready for next year. Are you really ever ready?? I know that God will be holding my hand and my daughters. Ha! :D

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,

Nora :D
Finding Hope Through Fiction

bigguysmama said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Nora. I can't even picture my girl in 4 yrs. What an overwhelming thought. Our loving Father will take care of "our" little girls!

Blessings,
Mimi

Tina said...

Oh my goodness, Mimi. What a beautiful post. I am taking my girl to 5th grade today. She is nervous becuase she's with a group of kids she has never been with before. Before I know it, it will be college! I know it must have been a bittersweet day for you.

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