Off to college … the final chapter. A seven-hour drive will not prepare me for this. Eighteen years has not prepared me for this. On our way up we will stay at a lodge on a lake in the Adirondack Park. Just steps from our door will be a good hiking trail that will be perfect to tackle after the long drive north.
Move-in day is Sunday. Room 213. We may have to go to the bookstore for things we forgot, like hangers and a light bulb for the desk lamp. The matriculation ceremony is at 3:30 p.m. After that they will kick all the parents out. For good. They already told us that at 4:30 p.m. we have to leave.
From there I will head to a local country inn for the night with my empty car and my heavy heart. He’s the last one. I keep waiting for the local school calendar to arrive in the mail, but it will never come. Now I will get a St. Lawrence University calendar and a Williams College calendar.
And tuition bills. But that is okay.
The pile in the corner of the living room grows daily as we accumulate more stuff. Today I remembered the hangers and new toothbrush. On my list is a power strip. I have a light bulb for the desk lamp. A shipment of outdoor apparel and a comforter arrived yesterday from LL Bean along with an extra long fitted sheet. (Thanks Grandpa and Grandma). I don’t think his boots will be tall enough.
“Wake up college boy!” I said to the 6-foot-tall lump under the green comforter. How did he get so tall and when did that happen?
“Mom! We have plenty of time.”
I started to write a letter to him but only got as far as “Dear Casey. I can’t believe it,” before the tears came. I couldn’t finish it. Not just then. In eight hours I would have to say good-bye. I wanted the new adventure to begin, yet I didn’t want the old adventure to end.
I already miss the smell of pizza rolls cooking late at night. His room looks the same at home (sans the wet towel on the bed), but somehow his presence is gone. Maybe it’s the empty walls where the posters used to be, or the absence of hearing his 1989 car pull into the driveway. I miss his sunny nature and pure excitement about life in general.
Casey Pitcher wears real bow ties because he says they are cheerful.
Before I left his college I did finish that letter to my son. I put it on his laptop on his new desk where he would be sure to find it. When I got home the next day, he had left one for me on my pillow.
The kite string I’ve been writing about for years is almost fully unraveled. A few more turns and it will be at the end.
I love you, Casey Pitcher. Xo Mom :}