Sunday morning we leave to drop off our youngest at college. We won’t quite be empty nesters as our oldest is living at home still, but we do find ourselves now with two adult children. I have many friends who are dropping off kids in the coming days, many for the first time. Many are understandably very emotional about it. I haven’t had time to be. When we dropped our son off at school four years ago, it really didn’t hit me until we were driving home and it felt just empty. That may or may not happen this time around. These things do tend to hit me at odd times. I suspect the first time I drive to school without Geeky Girl, I’ll feel it pretty deeply.
I think I find the process more exciting than sad. I’m proud of her for choosing to go far away from home, to take that risk and find her own way. And with the availability of so many ways to connect virtually, I know we can stay in touch. The number of years we’ll be connected as family is greater than the years we’ve already been connected. I’ve enjoyed my own adult relationship with my parents much more than the relationship I had with them as a teen. The control factor is gone and we can just appreciate each other as people. I’m looking forward to that with my own kids. We’re already starting to have that relationship and it will continue to grow as they gain more and more independence and decide for themselves what their lives will be.
That said, there’s still stress for each of us that is playing out in different ways. Mr. Geeky, who hasn’t been paying as much attention to travel plans, schedules, etc., is trying to turn our travels into vacation, suggesting excursions and nice restaurants before dropping Geeky Girl off at the appointed time. He’s trying to draw out his time with Geeky Girl, with the whole family in tact. Geeky Girl, on the other hand, doesn’t want to be late for anything, wants to make sure she has everything she needs for her dorm room, and wants to get her independent life started asap. In direct contrast to what her dad wants. I am trying to follow Geeky Girl’s lead. As far as I’m concerned, it’s her show. I’m serving as mediator and sometimes interpreter. Geeky Boy is along for the ride, but is generally taking Geeky Girl’s side–reluctantly sometimes, as he, too, is interested in the vacation aspects of our trip. I actually had a dream that we left him at home, something I didn’t realize until we were driving around trying to find our AirBnB. My stress is definitely subconscious. So it’s not exactly smooth sailing as each of us tries to get our individual needs met.
An adventure awaits, soon to be subsumed by the adventure that is the beginning of the school year.