We just packed up the car and moved our son into his college dorm room.
It went better than any of us probably expected. (Translation–I did not weep, wail, or cause a scene at any point, traumatized by my sweet little baby moving out of my daily life and home).
Is our house way too quiet now with only the three of us? YES.
Do we miss him? Hell to the YES.
Is he exactly where he wants to be, surrounded by ‘his people’, and in the exact right place for him to grow and learn? YES.
One of the things I noticed throughout parent orientation (the way Whitman College weans us away from our children–very gently and kindly) was that I had lots of very helpful advice I still wanted to (needed to!) give him before I left. While he may not have noticed my restraint, so much of my advice to him remained unspoken.
I recognized that if I hadn’t already reminded him to separate the lights from the darks and not to overfill the washer, he’d figure it out. I recognized the talk we’d already had about budgeting was hopefully sufficient. I recognized he was a smart kid and would certainly know to go to class, take advantage of college community, be kind, be helpful, etc, without me telling him.
So I let the advice go un-offered. (I also trust he does not read this blog, so I’m not trying to sneakily tell him to wash his sheets at least once this semester for the love of all that’s holy!)
He’s a smart kid–one of the smartest people I know. He’ll figure it out. If I figured it out–he’ll be fine.
He’s in a great place. Justin and I were both very impressed with Whitman and it is clear Alden found his tribe.
Why, one might ask (and I’m sure he does), would I even feel the need to give such a smart, competent, and good kid all of this advice?
I think it is because somewhere in my head, even though I know he’s 6 foot 3 and all growed up, I still see him like this:
Or maybe like this:
Perhaps this Subaru commercial sums it up the best:
Thankful for a kid who puts up with me when I maybe possibly forget he is no longer 3 years old. Trusting he will ask for the actual advice he does need, whether from us or from one of the other many great people in his life.
Have a great time in college, kid. We know you’ve got this. Looking forward to hearing all about the adventures!