Sending Your Firstborn Off to College — Part 1

Comforter, check.

Sheets, check.

Throw rug, check.

Wastebasket, desk lamp, electrical cord, ethernet cord, lightbulbs, check.

409, Febreeze, dish, cup, can opener, laundry packets, laundry bag, toiletry bag, extra boxes of contacts, backup glasses, good calculator, desk supplies, desk organizer, check.

Handling all this emotionally. … hmmm …

Everyone keeps asking me how I’m handling Ricky leaving. I think everyone knows how close we are, and how he’s my first, and he’s my heart, and he’s my friend, and he’s always been the most like me, so we’ve always had a special bond.

But when people ask, I usually tell them something like this:

“Well, I still need to get a mattress pad, and we were looking for a longer ethernet cord, and I wanted to find some Cold-Ease…”

But I don’t think that’s what they’re asking.

I know what they’re asking.

They’re wondering how I’m going to handle my first, my heart, my friend being gone every evening, not at the dinner table, not standing in the kitchen at lunchtime and telling me about his friends, not going to Angels games with us, not talking about movies and books, not joining us for barbecues at Grandma’s house, not making grammar jokes with me that only the two of us laugh at. …

And the answer to that is that I’m going to be very sad. And it’s going to be a huge missing piece for me. It’s a piece I’ve had my whole adult life — a piece that’s been there since I was 23 — and I’m not sure what it’s going to feel like to have that piece missing on a daily basis.

But I know his going off to college is good, and normal. I mean, kids grow up and leave — that’s what they do. That’s what we raise them to do.

So I just need to deal with this natural progression of life, and we just have to drop him off and then come home and create our new normal — a family of four. And then Ricky will come home for Christmas break and summer break and we’ll create our new phase — where he’ll be at the dinner table for a meal or two (between visiting with friends, I’m sure) and he’ll catch us up on his new life that we raised him to lead. …

Contact lens solution, check.

Bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, check.

Stapler, scissors, envelopes, jump drive, printer paper, check.

Handling all this emotionally … getting there. …

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3 thoughts on “Sending Your Firstborn Off to College — Part 1

  1. My heart hurts for you after reading this… And what a beautiful way to describe Ricky – your first, your heart, your friend.

  2. I love how close you and Ricky seem to be, that is really special! It makes me sad for you because I know how hard it is….lots of love and hugs to you and Chris right now (Rene and Nate too, bc I know they will miss him too!)

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