Home Sweet Dorm

The week leading up to dropping Hayden off at school was emotional at best and chaotic every moment.  We were frantically attempting to finish all of the necessary shopping while all the while gearing up for the fact that our baby girl was moving away to school.  I won’t lie; I spent chunks of time alone, in tears dreading the passing days.

It wasn’t so much that she was going away to college that was emotional for me.  I was, and still am, totally excited for this new chapter in her life.  I know she is ready to move on from high school and towards her chosen career path.  We are all ready for her to do this, to become her own person, to reach out for her own dreams, and to work hard toward her own goals.  In all honesty, I can’t wait to watch her unfold.  It’s just that she won’t be sleeping under our same roof every night.  Texting her goodnight will never be the same as hugging her goodnight.

And, it got here so quickly.

Move in day is a bit of a blur.

Side note: we decided the night before that we had to take two cars.  Not because we couldn’t fit everything into the van because we could.  We simply couldn’t fit everything and the people into the van.  There is a distinction.  We may have brought a wee bit too much stuff—except that we didn’t because she needs everything we brought.

We arrived early and began to unload her things from the van into a pile on the grass in front of her dorm.  Her pile was a little larger than other piles, but I think that was, at least in part, due to the way we had packed.  For example, much of her bedding was still in the shopping bags whereas, I noticed, others had crammed pillows and such into bins.  Also, others had not brought twenty five decorative pillows.

Hayden and Anna went and retrieved her room key and we began to move some of the lighter things up to her third floor (no elevator) room.  Before long, a group of move-in volunteers arrived at our pile and quickly got everything to her room.  We were alone in her room with the total chaos of her stuff for about fifteen minutes before her adorable roommate arrived with her family and her total chaos of stuff.

IMG_4999

Unpacking ensued.

IMG_4987

Decorating happened.

 

And, before we knew it, she was all set up.

IMG_4994

And, happy.

IMG_5002

Hayden had a mandatory freshman welcome gathering to attend, and we didn’t want to prolong the goodbyes, so we hugged and took a few more photos and then headed downstairs together.

IMG_5010

Anna and I both, for different reasons, wanted to stay forever.

I was determined not to cry, not to have Hayden see me crying as we were leaving and have her feel badly about it, so I did not cry.  In front of her.

*******************************************

Now it is Labor Day weekend and Hayden is home and everything is right in the world again.

But, seriously, she is doing great.  And, the fact that she is doing so well makes it just a little tiny bit easier for us to have her away.  We miss her terribly, but we talk to her everyday, and she is advocating for herself and adulating like a boss, and we are so proud.

Our baby girl is on her way.

Advertisements

The post that is not the post, but is about the post that is supposed to be posted.

I’ve been attempting for a couple of days to post about our experiences with prom dress shopping this year; how shopping for a senior prom dress differs from shopping for a junior prom dress, how we were disappointed to discover the boutique we loved so much last year has undergone some managerial changes, how strange it was to be shopping without my mom…

I’m struggling with that post.

For one thing, I can’t get my photos to load.  There actually are not a lot of photos to load; I didn’t take as many this year as last, in part because she didn’t try on as many dresses, and in part because I wasn’t sending them to my mother for opinions, and, therefore, only took pics of the best dresses, only took the pictures Hayden requested.  The post needs the pics, but the damn computer won’t load the pics, so the post won’t flow.

My mother, though only physically here twice, has always been a part of our dress shopping: homecomings, winter balls, graduations, proms: all of them, all of the dresses, all of the shopping, we have included her either through texted photos or FaceTime.

And, she always bought the shoes.

It was bittersweet to be there without her.  I worked overtime to stay in the moment, and to enjoy the time with Hayden, but I missed my Mom–both in real time and in future losses.  She won’t be there when we shop for Anna’s dresses, and she won’t be there when we shop for wedding dresses.

Yet, she was there.  I know she was there.  We are all adjusting to a new manner of her being there, but she was, she is.  And, I know she loves this year’s dress.

Senior Year

This beautiful girl started her Senior year of high school last week.

img_3300

She was very patient while I took several photos of her before she drove herself to school for the first time ever, oh my heart!

Mom!  Stoooop!  I’m gonna be late!

img_3299

So, I stopped.

For a minute.

Then I chased her down the driveway.

img_3301img_3302

And, so, it begins.  My baby girl’s Senior year of high school.  So many milestones coming up this year, and I want her to enjoy every single minute.  I’ll try not to let her see me sobbing in the corner.

Not a river in Egypt

We’ve been a little lax about preparing for Hayden to go college.

I’d love to blame it on her being our first born, and how new we are at this whole college thing, how we don’t have any idea what we are doing or supposed to be doing, so we have naturally fallen a little behind, but I think it may have something more to do with the fact that she is only SIXTEEN years old and still my BABY.

DSC_0575.JPG

Denial. De. Ni. Al.

I mean, it’s not like we haven’t seen it approaching.  She was a junior last year and she did all the junior year milestoney things that juniors do in their junior years: she went to the prom, she took her SATs, she got her braces removed from her teeth.  For the past year we’ve made impromtu stops at various schools; driving around the campuses to check them out, engaging in conversations about whether or not they are located in areas that she can see herself living. We’ve attended college nights and a couple of open houses.  We’ve added terms to our vocabularies.

Common Application.  FASFA.  Admissions Requirements.  Student loans vs. parental responsibility.  Financial aid.  Merit Scholarships.

We’ve added those terms, but, beyond that, we have ignored them, more or less, completely.  Those are things we have to worry about in the upcoming months.  Not this month.  Never this month.

Denial came up and slapped me in the face today.

We’ve had a couple of college visits this week.  Real, actual, college visits with deadline discussions and personal tours where I found myself asking a thousand questions about the schools and the buildings and the programs and the meal plans…when all I was truly needing to know is how they plan to take care of my little girl; how am I ever going to be able to leave her on her own?

This is it.  In twenty-nine days Hayden starts her senior year of high school, and we begin the countdown, the last year of having her home with us, safely under our roof, every night.  I’m simultaneously so excited for her and sad for me (and Steve, and Anna).  I know this is her time to soar, to go out and make her mark on the world, and I truly can’t wait to watch who she becomes, but I am SO NOT READY to let go of her.

IMG_3065.JPG

I know we aren’t the first or the only ones to ever go through all of this.  I know it is normal and necessary.  And, I even know we will find ourselves on the other side of it someday, but damn if it doesn’t still suck now.

Run like the Wind! Or like random people are throwing ground up chalk at you

The girls did their first Color Run June 25th in Hartford.  It wasn’t the best weekend for a color run as we had about four thousand other things happening that same weekend, but since they registered for it in March, and it has been on the calendar ever since, I suppose it’s just as fair to say that we didn’t have time for those other four thousand things because it was Color Run day.

IMG_2817

We were confused by the dark t-shirts, but the race organizers assured us that the chalkboard gray is best for absorbing the colors, so who were we to argue?  Also, color absorbtion or not, I think, the darker shirts make a more attractive keepsakes, so it’s a win win.

A little pre-race color prep:

There were lots of festivities, lots of chalk being thrown around, and lots of anxious 5Kers ready to run this untimed fun run.  The girls started the race in the second group, and then Steve and I found a great place in the shade at the end of the route to wait for them to finish.

IMG_2822

We are not new to 5Ks and we know approximately how long it takes our girls to run them.  Usually, they wear something that doesn’t necessarily stand out, but that we can easily recognize, so that we can see them coming towards the finish.  This was a wee bit more challenging because of everyone wearing the same color, but we were confident that we would be able to spot the trio.

Until Hayden walked up behind us and said, “Hi!”

Little whippersnapper had separated from Anna and Morgan (they were running too slow for her) and ran right past us to the finish!

About ten minutes later, the younger girls finished.

All three of them had a blast and were covered in color.

And, then much celebration and silliness ensued.

But, these have to be my three favorite shots of the day:

We’ll be back next year.

Summer

Summer is here and we have been busy, busy, busy doing almost nothing at all.  That picture up there at the top is from the last day of school; Hayden’s last day as a junior, and Anna’s last day as a 7th grader.  We are so happy for summer.