Friday, September 9, 2011

Even If You Return

Daughter, daughter this I know,
Though hard it is to learn,
Hardest is the letting go,
Clock nor calendar to show,
When or even if you will return.

About a year before I left home to go to college, I found this poem in the back of a "Good Housekeeping" magazine to which my mother subscribed. I really liked the message, but at 16 I didn't really feel the emotion behind it, until Meghan.

Even when Meghan was a little child, I knew she would leave us one day. Meghan always loved going places. Even when she was really small, she had no problem going It was not surprise when she announced as a freshman in high school that she would be attending college at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Meghan, my daughter and oldest child, has always seemed to know what she wanted in life. By the end of her senior year in high school, she had obtained admission to NMSU, a tuition waiver, and a job at the university. By August, the family van was packed to the hilt with many of her possessions and were headed to Las Cruces to "take Meg to college." Her possessions included a large Rubber Maid tub of shoes, including over 35 pairs of flip-flops. (No duplication, all different from the rest.)

When we walked into the dorm room, World War II bunker came to mind. It was small with very little furniture and it smelled damp. My stomach began to hurt and I wanted to yank her out of this ugly place and stuff her and the shoes back into the car, but instead I said, "Let's go to Walmart." Among the items we purchased at Walmart were several yards of bright cotton print fabric, a glue gun, glue sticks, ribbons to match the fabric, scissors, a houseplant, bathroom bleach spray, and DAMP RID for the closet. While Bosco and Jordan unpacked her clothes and hung them in the closet, Meghan and I covered almost everything offensive with the fabric--hot gluing it in place. I didn't think there would be an issue as to one day having her deposit returned due to the state of the bunker/dorm room when she moved in. Before we knew it, her room looked better and everything was unpacked and put away.

As we stood looking at the room, admiring our handy work, Bosco said, "Well, I guess we should be going." BAM! Just like that! I know I looked at him like he was crazy, but isn't this why we were here? I nodded my head and we all walked out of the room and went to the car. I can't really describe how I felt. Sadness? No. Fear? Yes. Anxiety? Maybe. Excitement. Yes. Dread? Maybe. I mean, we all knew this day was coming. I threw back my shoulders, took a deep breath, and smiled the biggest smile I had in my smile-bank. This is what Bosco and I had been planning for eighteen years and here it was. I looked at Bosco and he seemed okay. I looked at Meg, and she was looking at her new cell phone. Oh, well, it was time to go.

When we got to the car, we all hugged and kissed Meghan, telling her we loved her, how proud we were of her, and that we wanted her to call every day just so we would know that she was alive. Bosco and I were getting into the car when we turned to look at Jordan and were shocked at how he was crying. He just held her and sobbed and sobbed. OH NO! This is not how we thought it would go! Maybe I would cry or Meg would tear-up, but here was Jordy crying and holding onto Meghan!!!! Holy Moly! I think I grabbed him and stuffed him into the back seat before we peeled out of the parking lot!!!!! That really took the awkwardness out of the situation!

We drove through Las Cruces and headed for the Love's Truck Stop to fill up with gas before she called. Ten minutes and I just knew she was missing us already! Ummmm, not. She had forgotten our signed checks that she would need to buy books and other things. So, we gassed up the van and drove back into Cruces.

When we pulled into the dorm parking lot there stood our college girl. Surrounded by four boys. She smiled, ran over to my window, grabbed the checks, kissed me again, and waved good-bye! That's Meghan!

Yes, she returned, regularly.

There will be more stories about my adventures and life with my kids. Be watching!

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