We got up early and drove through the beautiful morning mist to the Juniata campus. It is the first time my husband has seen it. Each of us carried one thing in (I took the big sea turtle) and everything else was quickly whisked up by volunteers to our daughter’s second floor room. We were prepared to do some schlepping, but were glad to be spared it.
Our daughter was so excited she was skipping as she went to find her room. Her roommate was already there, a nice girl from Long Island, who had left the window bed for Laura. (Laura had planned to do the same for her if she got there first so was touched by this gesture.) Our two families spent a pleasant next few hours settling all the stuff in this freshly painted room. We laughed that neither girl had a single stitch of makeup to put on the shelves by the mirror, and both without discussing it, had come with a turquoise theme to their stuff. They coordinate nicely, right down to appreciating Ancient Greece over Ancient Rome, and I feel like they will get along well. Since Laura is majoring in Physics and the roommate in History and Museum Studies, they’ll meet different circles of people that they can then introduce to each other.
We then went to get her mailbox key and books. I took a photo of the four small paperback books shown below (second from the bottom) because they alone were $400! (In a different one, you can see the books she brought from home.) There was a lunch under the tent followed by a welcome in the auditorium for students and parents. The only tear I shed was during the President’s speech when he said, speaking to the parents, “Each of you knows what it took for your infant baby to grow up to get to be here for this auspicious day,” and boy did I ever, since I was there for every precious step of it. After that we said goodbye, smothering each other in a three way hug. Our thumbs will do the talking until we come back for parent’s weekend.
We are glad she’s in such a nurturing place and feel comfortable about her readiness to take on this adventure. She’s taking University Physics (only for Physics majors), Physics seminar (every Physics major takes this every semester, I think), Calculus II (which is Calculus III other places; our daughter has already done what other places call Calculus I & II), a required freshman writing class, a required Information Technology class, and a pottery class (wheel throwing). It is seventeen credits so she’ll be busy. Before classes start they have an Inbound program with ice breaker activities for a few days, and our daughter is going white water rafting.
Early in the day, while we still were in the motel, Laura said that she knows I’ll “always be there for her.” This was so meaningful to me and was helpful when it came time to part. Hearts like ours cannot be easily separated! The same moon shines down on each of us, and the same God nestles us in Her arms. We will both be alright, but this is a huge transition moment, both for our always homeschooled daughter, and for us since our nest will now be empty. Our house and schedule will be dramatically more quiet, while by contrast, her experience will be more intense and full. We both know that nothing will ever be the same. We are standing on a pivot point, a fulcrum tipping toward the future. We are both embracing an exciting new chapter ahead of us with courage and love.