Dropping Kari Off at College Last Year
Like any parent, dropping your child off to begin their college career is emotional. When I was finally able to pull Sue away from Ryan on his first day, she cried the entire ride home. I made sure to keep my sunglasses on as I was welling up too. I originally bought these sunglasses to hide my eyes so I didn’t look like a creep checking out the ladies (Okay Sue, I finally admit it!). I never thought they’d bail me out of hiding my teary eyes. Thank goodness it was a sunny day!
It is a mixture of pride and lose as we drove away from campus.
Last August I drove Kari to school. The ride was filled with my words of advice (which, to my surprise, she mostly listened). I assured her that she would make tons a friends. I gave her tips on reducing stress. I stressed the importance of going to class. Well, I did everything one would expect.
When it came time to finally leave her, I was torn. I wanted to grab her and take her back with me. I never wanted to leave, but had an equal force wanting me to get back to Ryan. I was split right down the middle. Kari was where she was supposed to be. Ryan should have been with her.
As I turn to walk away, she calls out to me. In the small lawn in front of her dorm, with people scurrying all around in the hot August day, she asks me “Daddy, is it okay that I’m leaving the family now?”.
The Drive to New Jersey
Again, thank goodness for sunglasses! I spent the six hours on the interstates wailing. I was literally wailing! I tried everything I could think of to pull it together. The only thing that broke me out was a thunderstorm so intense I had no choice but to focus 100% on driving. Mercifully, this was about 30 minutes out from Kessler and by the time I arrived I looked no worse for the wear.
Kari made plans to go out with Katie Mesmer, a close friend of the entire family who most of you know through this blog. Kari’s phone rings and it is Katie saying she’s in front of the house. Kari grabs her belongings and stops. I can tell she is bothered by something.
She looks back at me and asks a question she has asked many times before, “Is it okay that I’m going out?”. I reassure her that it’s not only okay, but it’s expected. “I feel guilty”, she tells me, “Ryan should be doing the same thing. Please don’t tell him I’m out”.
I did as Kari asked. Minutes later I looked just plain silly wearing my sunglasses… indoors… at night.