After leaving Daniel at Southern and coming home, I did what I probably shouldn’t have—I walked into his bedroom. There was the closet, mostly empty, except for a few hanging items that he didn’t need or want at college. The desk, with stacks of graduation cards and left over thank you notes. A stuffed Winnie-the-Pooh sitting high on a shelf, wearing an academy graduation cap, surrounded by golden cords. Pooh, the well-loved, well-traveled bear, would not be going to college.
Walking down the hallway, I fought off the urge to call my son. Remembering how my mother had called me every day when I started college, I determined long ago I would never do that to my college-aged offspring.
I won’t call him every day, I rationalized—I’ll just call him today. And with one push of a cell phone button, we were connected.
“Hi Mom, what’s up?”
“Hi Daniel, just wondering how you’re doing. How’s freshman orientation going? How’s the food? See anyone you know?”
“Yes, Mom. They’re keeping us really busy—lots of meetings. We had fun tonight—our team won the “Amazing Race” scavenger hunt.
“Wonderful. So what’s the prize?”
“A free minor.”
“It basically extends my curfew by an hour,” he replied. “Kind of like a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card.”
“Great,” I say with a sigh (trying to remember why 18-year-olds think it’s fun to stay up late).
As the days (and now weeks) roll by, we’re all getting into a comfortable routine. Life continues around work and home, and shuttling Heather, our busy seventh-grader, to school, music lessons, Pathfinders and other activities 13-year-olds enjoy. Often, my husband, Clinton, and I give Heather an extra goodnight kiss and hug, realizing that time flies by fast and one day she’ll be away like her brother.
In the meantime, I know Daniel is busy with classes, homework, friends old and new, and is working hard but having a great time.
While I don’t call Daniel every day now, we do keep in touch, and I especially enjoy our video Skype talks—often on a Friday or Sunday afternoon.
Sometimes I watch the live streaming of Southern’s Friday evening vespers, enjoying the virtual fellowship as well as hoping to catch a glimpse of one extra-special young man in the middle of a happy sea of college students.