My oldest is about to start college. The next ten days will be a flurry of shopping, packing and assurances that everything will be okay.
She's studying for her BA in Arts and Animation at one of the top schools in Canada, Sheridan College. Someday you'll see her work at Pixar! We managed to find her a nice place just across the street from the school, and if she wants to come home for the weekend, she's only a couple of hours away by train or bus, and we can always make the 1.5 hour drive to get her. After all, she'll want a decent meal at least once every couple of weeks.
I have mixed feelings about my oldest youngling leaving the nest. Like any parent, I've been frustrated, infuriated, enraged and worried. She bickers. She swears, calling her brother every name in the book. She won't eat a meal with food touching each other. Shes keep me up at night, yapping in the hallway, slamming her door and complaining she's cold. She doesn't clean the cat's litter box without being hounded for three days.
She says things in a quirky way that doesn't fail to make me laugh. She introduces me to movies and authors I never would have discovered if not for her appreciation of the really funny stuff. She got me hooked on 30 Rock, Arrested Development and The Office. She walks the dog.
I'm a lucky Mom. Many of my peers have complained about teenagers who stay out late, are lazy, unappreciative and belligerent. Some kids smoke, drink and do drugs, either in the open or on the sly. They get into fights, talk back to their parents, and barely scrape by in school. They treat their home like a hotel, expecting their laundry to suddenly appear, all washed and folded in their drawers. Not my kids.
The biggest disagreement I have with my son is his stubborn habit of composing his school essays in Lucida Grande instead of Times New Roman. (I know... first it'll be fonts, then it will lead to cocaine OMG!)
The thing that worries me most about my daughter is that she worries too much. That being said, I have nothing to worry about, except to stop her from worrying.
Will I feel that tug and snap of the apron strings when we finally say goodbye? Will I sit in her room for all of Labour Day, crying into her stuffed toys?
More likely, I'll be turning her bedroom into my writing room. Or not. She'll probably be back for a visit within a couple of weeks, already tired of living on peanut butter sandwiches.
That's okay. I'll welcome her back with open arms, then shove her out the door again.
Illustration: Dog Spacedog in Space - used with permission from my daughter, the creator.