Sunday, August 15, 2010

Empty Nest

First of all, Harleigh is safe and sound at school. We said our goodbyes with lots of smiles and I'm proud to say, few tears on my part. And for those of you who know that I cry at the drop of a hat, I'm so proud of myself. She was never more ready to enter this chapter of her life. And I think her confidence in her ability to tackle the workload and all its distractions, her ease with the transition, her overall joy . . . she's going to love college.

During our weekend in Statesboro we withstood one of the hottest days I've ever lived through. Move-in day was so humid that I had to stop several times to wipe the sweat out of my eyes because I couldn't see. But once she got into her suite, met her roommate and her family, and we started unpacking, the nesting began. A trip to Kmart landed us much needed kitchen shelves. We made a trip to the Super Wal Mart for groceries. And everywhere we went we ran into other parents and students and gabbed: strangers all with one thing in common, our children leaving the nest. It made us all family.

Here is Harleigh's room. (I didn't get pix of the living room, dining room, bathroom or kitchen because there was still lots of move-in going on.) Harleigh and Rebekah each have their own rooms with doors that lock. Double bed, nightstand (which Harleigh put in her closet), chest of drawers, desk and chair. We put the bed up on risers and added this Japanese lamp. The wall pix are decals that peel off.
Here is her desk. She brought her baby blanket, Quilty, which hangs on the back of the chair. The bulletin board "window" will be a separate post (not used here the way I intended it, but this isn't my room, so I had to bite my tongue and let her do it her way).
She's using her chest of drawers as a nightstand. We will need something on the wall above it. There are mini blinds at the window but Harleigh wanted something softer (but not curtains, since the room gets very little light) and so we opted for an accordian paper shade and pulled the mini blinds all the way up ; this shade goes nicely with the Japanese lamp and can clip up for full sun or be let out to reach the bottom, which gives the room a soft light .
I found this baker's rack at a yard sale a few weeks ago and it wound up being a great catchall in her room without looking out-of-the-box dorm room.
She loves her room, and I like that she has privacy, yet the experience of a roommate sharing the common areas.

What I miss most already: talking to her about what she's doing. I want to text and call her every hour and ask what she's doing. I know, I know, too much. But I want to hear every detail. When I left, she already had plans to shower and then go to the Baptist Youth Group open house. She was already making plans for church this morning and hadn't quite cemented what last night would hold. Ahhhhh, this is killin' me. Letting go has wound up being far less emotional for me than I had anticipated. What I didn't expect was the separation anxiety over communication.

I'm sending a telepathic message . . .

Harleigh call me.

Harleigh call me.

Harleigh call me.

Harleigh call me . . .


Celestial Charms said...

I'm happy everthing went smoothly for all. Her room looks lovely and comfy. How excited she must be. I'm sure she will call often.

GardenofDaisies said...

Wow! Her room is gorgeous! We were never at a school that had suites for the Freshmen. (they always had to wait til they were upperclassmen). I think she is a lucky girl!! :-)
Aw sweetie, I know it is hard to let go of your little girl... but you have worked hard for 18 years to teach her to be responsible enough to stand on her own two feet. And she is ready for this step. In a couple of weeks, as you hear what a great time she is having and how many wonderful friends she is making, you will not feel so bad. Hugs to you!

Rachel said...

Oh, it's so hard, isn't it? Even though my daughter drives me crazy at times, I'm glad she's decided to wait a year and upgrade before heading off to university. Like you, I only have the one child and I will miss her terribly - especially the conversations and shared secrets - when she leaves. I wish you both the best - and remember, Dawn, we are always here for you if you're feeling lonely and need someone to talk to.

Kb_Mal said...

Dang! That's nice living! I shared my 9 x 11 freshman college dorm with a roommate!

Good luck, Harleigh, and good luck mom!

Gretchen said...

I'm so proud of you Dawn. It's so hard to let them go at 18. I was lucky I had the United States Navy watching over mine.

Harleigh's room is so sophisticated and better than mine was. It's cause she has such a savy Mom.

I know she'll all.............soon.


Christine said...

To this day, I send telepathic messages to both my kids (29 & 27 yrs old).
Keep sending them because they do eventually call.
I also, had to keep their doors closed for a long time before I could look inside their rooms.
And that's OK. Do what you have to do to get through the next several months.
I give you both until Christmas to make the adjustment.

Gretchen said...



Elizabeth said...

Oh Dawn, I know how you are feeling. Although, I haven't sent a kid away to college, my oldest eloped to Paris and got married at 19! I remember taking her to the airport, and feeling so sad, because we could not go :( Then she stayed in France for 3months, before returning home. I'm fortunate to have them living a stones throw away, but it is odd at first, when you don't see their little face at the dinner table, or sharing inside jokes, shopping etc.
Caitlin, my youngest still lives with us, so I never had to do that with her either. She will be attending the art school that her sister went to in SF, so she will be around too. She has a very serious boyfriend though, and I feel that she is slipping away, but in a good way, just sad for mom :(

Harleigh's room is ADRORABLE!! She will have a blast. I loved college, and all the things that went with it. I'm excited for her, but as a fellow mom, I know how you are feeling.

Big hug to you, and I home she calls!! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad move in when well. Very proud of you for not having a meltdown on campus, I witnessed that twice from my mom. (Once when I left and then again when we moved my little sis in).

Harleigh's room looks great!

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy said...

Did she call?

Countdown for me as well. Driving her down to RMU on the 25th and basically I am not thinking about it at all, just trying to keep my mind occupied. So afraid I will fall to pieces...

Lisa xo

Empty Nest Full Life said...

OK girl, I bet she will be reading that telepathic message soon! Her room is great, and you were right, very different from your style, but looks great. I know on those days when I don't hear from Ansley I wonder if something is wrong, but only that she's had a busy day. It was so good to finally meet. You are simply a delight! I told Joe it was just like we knew each other, and just catching up on all that was going on. Have a great week, and I will check in on you later. Jackie

Honey said...

Her room is wonderful! I bet she has been busy busy busy and has lots to tell her Mama when she calls...and sweet Gideon. :)

Freckled Hen said...

You are a good mother to encourage you daughter and give her that emotional stability she needs to live away from home. She is lucky to have you!
I love seeing her room--and chuckled when you said you held back about the bulletin board. I have spent the summer following my daughter around with "good ideas" for her dorm room. She leaves tommorow.

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