Posted by: jeannineatkins | August 28, 2007

Homecoming — minus one girl

Well, it’s done. Our daughter settled into college, where my husband got to be the hero, setting up wireless in her room. I hung up clothes, that may never be hung again, and made her bed.

— You seem to be having fun, Mom, E. said.

I was, feeling glad I could be where my own mom hadn’t been. E’s half of the dorm room is stuffed with barely room left for textbooks, and many, many pictures of friends dolled up for prom and graduation grinning or making faces, while her roommate’s side is sparse, with framed pictures of solemn ancestors from China.

I felt buoyed by friend’s stories – the mom who cried every night at 10 p.m., the one who cried for a year, and the one who said she drove onto campus and her daughter said, “No one here looks like anyone I’ll like.” There was a weepy hug at the end, cicadas loud near the live oaks by her dorm, but otherwise just strange things made me teary.
— How do you pronounce Freret Street? I asked.
–I don’t know, Mom.
Just the heavy ordinary boredom in her voice made me feel, oh, I’m going to miss that. (I guess you had to be there.)

I do feel a sense of accomplishment and love how she’s widening our world, as I’ll glimpse a bit of her adventures. My friend and neighbor M. met me with a warm casserole with chicken, beans, summer squash, and rice. The sun is coming out and I’ve got plenty of blank paper and fall in Massachusetts right ahead. I’ll pop a love note in the mail and get down to business.



  1. HUGS Jeannine.
    We need to get together soon.

  2. I have one leaving next year. It seems way too soon. How did it get here so fast?

  3. I’m right behind you! I only have A a couple days more . . .
    I’m glad everything went well!
    It is a humbling experience to be the ones left behind while they grow and expand their horizons.

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