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By SHONNA SHECKLES
Well, it is that time of year again. The family room is filled with comforters and matching pillows, miniature refrigerators, milk crates, computers, boom boxes, TVs, floor rugs. I think you get the picture. It is time for your baby to move to a college campus.
It is a bittersweet moment at the end of summer, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I had been waiting for this moment all her life. I had been waiting for her to finally move out of that lavender bedroom and start being what she seemed to always strive to be, an almost adult. In my book, an almost adult is one who is not physically living under your roof but you still are responsible for finances.
In my head, I was going to box up the prom flowers from four proms, the cheerleader pompoms, the science fair award, ribbons from the 4-H talent show and all the book-it pins from the fourth grade. I was on my way to turning Lindsey’s room into a gigantic closet for me. I was so fooled.
I always wanted her to attend my alma mater, Western Kentucky University, but she had it in her head to attend Spelman. Can we spell disappointment? I cannot tell you how overjoyed I was when she changed her mind and chose WKU.
But the day her father and I prepared to take that trip down Interstate 65, I was a mess. Had we prepared her not to take wooden nickels from strangers? Could we trust her not to party away her scholarship, fall in love with someone of whom we would not approve, join a cult or a be a fraternity groupie? I was really second guessing our parenting skills at that point because I could not see with my naked eye from Bardstown to Bowling Green. I told my husband we needed to buy a house in Bowling Green so I could see what was going on. That went over like a ton of lead balloons.
The Saturday she left, I woke with a knot as big as a fist in my throat. Her room always had been across from ours and every Saturday morning she would come into our bedroom and say, “What are ya’ll doing?”
“Uh, what about sleeping,” we’d reply. She would just laugh with that high ponytail wagging back and forth.
Where had all the time gone? It seemed like yesterday the nurse brought me my dimple-faced cutie for the first time.
“Cheer up, Mom. I will be back on weekends, but not every weekend,” I heard her say.
This is going to be hard, I thought.
To my surprise, when we dropped her off, it was not so hard because she was so happy to start a new chapter in her life. As we drove away, I turned to her dad.
“What about my new closet space?” I said.
Shonna Sheckles lives in Bardstown and works in Elizabethtown.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.