Our Baby is Off to College


Yesterday we drove our daughter Lucy to her new university. The day was too hectic to be emotional, but I did ask her roommate to take a photo of us to commemorate the milestone.

Packing for college while all three of us were working, a trustee was staying overnight, our house was hosting daily group tours, a film crew was on hand, and the internet (crucial for last-minute college forms) was down for three days was definitely a challenge. Even as we pulled out of the driveway, more visitors were arriving on the lawn. Amazingly, we forgot very little. I did overlook that Lucy had practiced driving for three hours this week, and thus we almost ran out of gas in the Adirondack backwoods. (“We have only four miles’ worth left in the tank!” I said anxiously. DH made jokes about Lucy’s “over-distance workout,” running to college. Luckily, we coasted into St. Regis Falls on fumes.)

In the photo, my hair and shirt are soaking wet from setting up Lucy’s new room in high heat and humidity. For some reason, whenever I am moving our children, it is inevitably over 90°.

I had planned to bring along a few tools, just in case, but Lucy demurred.

“You won’t need Wonder Mom?” I had teased.

Lucy did not want to overwhelm her roommate. Her first roommate in high school had taken over their shared room before Lucy arrived and now Lucy wanted to be low-key and thoughtful. “I might need Wonder Mom a month from now.”

Naturally, it turned out that to put up a mirror for the girls to share, I needed a screw driver to remove an old dead landline phone hanger from the wall. No tools. I ground my teeth, and then fashioned a shim out of a cardboard box, stuck the shim to the wall with velcro, and velcroed the mirror reasonably flush over the top of the phone hanger. With luck it will hold, and I can fix it when we go up for visiting day in September.

As we unpacked her duffle bags, various boys and girls (Mid-Atlantic skiers) stopped in to say hello. By the end of the evening Lucy had her side of the room set up with her posters and personal items.

Looking at the snapshot she forwarded this morning, I suddenly remembered a line from The West Wing, when the president’s daughter goes into her college dorm room and the door closes. “Bookbag is in for the night,” an agent whispers into a wrist device. I think a part of me must be anxious and wishing my baby had a Secret Service detail.

This is the start of a big new adventure. I hope and pray Lucy’s college experience will be warm and wonderful.


One Response to Our Baby is Off to College

  1. Jody Hochschartner-Boyd says:

    I was thinking of all of you yesterday and hoping Lucy has a wonderful freshman year!

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