For the first time in a couple of decades, my August activities did not include anything related to the insistent “back-to-school” call that is part of the parental DNA.
My college son’s May commencement was happy and memorable. We can look, at our leisure, at the tangible reminders of Jack’s accomplishment — the diploma, official graduation photo, i-Phone shots of the ceremony and the blue mortarboard with gold tassel perched atop a bookcase in our living room.
Now, I am oblivious to any school calendar. Instead, his father and I are watching Jack navigate the working world and learning about some of the differences in work culture from when we started our own careers.
But I’m aware of all those parents and kids just starting the college experience.
My fellow communicator Mary Beth Coudal wrote movingly on her blog about the angst-ridden period when her son Hayden had heart problems. He got a final good report from his pediatric cardiologists as he prepared to leave for college. He arrived there this week.
At the Sunday farmer’s market in our neighborhood, a young woman helping customers for an upstate orchard overheard me telling her co-worker about my vacation in Portland, Maine. She told me she was leaving for Bowdoin College, near Portland, the next day and it was wonderful to see her enthusiasm as we talked about Portland for a few minutes.
My friend and co-worker Mike DuBose dropped his second child off at college. “For the first time in almost 23 years, neither Jane nor I are involved in or directly responsible for the care and feeding of at least one of our children,” he wrote on Facebook. “Not sure how I feel about that just yet. But it’s going to take some getting used to.”
I wish them well and will enjoy watching the journeys of other sons and daughters. But as a college mom, I am signing off.