December 18, 2004
Lynn had an exam this morning to close out her first semester as a college student. Ron was originally going to do the fetching and the carrying back, but he had to attend a funeral that began at 10:00. It’s only an hour down and an hour back and it was no trouble to fit this task in to my party prep. I took her car (she can’t have it at school), newly inspected and fitted with a new rack for the rack and pinion steering. It has less “stuff” in it than mine and so could more easily accommodate the things, including her computer, that she’ll want for the three weeks that she’ll be home. I filled it up with gas (big tank = $25 a fillup, a lot for an impecunious student).
Lynn attends Millersville University, the state system school from which I graduated in 1969. She’s enrolled in a seven-year program leading to a Doctor of Optometry degree. When she first expressed an interest in this school I told her that our circumstances were different from those of my parents forty years ago, that her educational options were wide open, and that she should find the program she wanted and we would make that happen for her. She assured me that Millersville was what she wanted, because “if it was good enough for the best mother in the whole world, then it’s good enough for me,” she said. You can’t buy an endorsement like that.
Lynn really didn’t have a lot to transport. She’s keeping the same room for next semester, so most of her belongings could stay. She did bring her computer (minus the printer) so she can stay connected through the holiday to her vast network of IM buddies.
I remember my school vacations. The first several were okay. I started out at the local community college, so I hadn’t actually left town and the new friends I’d made were from neighboring communities. I reconnected with my friends returning from out of town campuses, visited my high school, invited the new boyfriend to my church and visited his. After I enrolled at Millersville I began to lose touch with the old crowd and establish new relationships. By my senior year I hated to come back longer than a weekend, so firmly established was my new life.
Lynn has expressed how happy she is at school. She says it feels like home. But she remains connected to her old life as well. Her boyfriend of nearly two years is a bit younger than she and is still in high school. I’ve encouraged her to make friends among male students even though she has a steady boyfriend and among females who are not also field hockey players, and she’s taken that advice.
I miss her, but not as desperately as I feared I might. I want her to establish her own life, and I suspect that as her college career continues, especially after the boyfriend starts his, she’ll detach more and more from the old milieu. I still expect her to tell me where she’s going and when she’ll be home, but I’m respecting the young adulthood that she is ever more confidently asserting.
When we got back here she spent some time setting up her computer, and then asked if there was anything she could do for me before she set off on errands and visits. It will be good to have her here for a while, and I can’t wait to see some of her old friends who will surely stop by tomorrow.
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