Last weekend I got to fly out to visit the girl, the first time I’d seen her since she left for college almost two months ago now. She still doesn’t have a roommate, so I got to sleep in her dorm room. It was comfier than I expected, though maybe I slept well because it was quiet and I was relaxed. Aside from seeing the girl, the absolute best thing about the trip was that I wasn’t in charge of anything or anyone. She was the one navigating and driving, and I let her pick meals, and I just kind of floated along. It was marvelous.
My first full day there was all about marching band. We showed up at 8 am for rehearsal, and the parents got to walk through campus with the band as they played. We also got to be on the field for the pregame show, and that was pretty nifty.
I had to stay for the entire football game. I made a lot of progress on my sock, along with getting a nice sunburn. (We weren’t expecting all the clouds to burn off.) The next day we slept in later than I’ve slept in years, and headed to Boulder for the NCAR trail. She hadn’t visited the mountains since moving to Colorado, which I thought was very sad. So I showed her an awesome free trail that goes up into the flatirons, and we had a great hike. There’s something so restorative about being up in the mountains, where it’s peaceful and silent. I think I need to do it more often!
We ate dorm food, which wasn’t great, and I took her out to eat a couple of times, which was. We spent a lot of time just relaxing in her dorm with her suitemates, and I met some of her friends. She’s created a nice community for herself there, and seems very settled and happy, and that pleases me a lot. Of course I miss her, but she’s in exactly the right place right now, and I love that. She’s growing up, getting more self-assured and confident, which is what’s supposed to happen as your kids grow up, I think. I’m in that awkward place where I can advise and suggest and recommend, but I have to cross my fingers and hope that we’ve taught her how to make good choices.
The trip wrapped up with a band concert on Tuesday. She plays flute (her primary instrument) in the symphonic band and clarinet in the concert band, so I got to see her perform several pieces, and I’m so glad I was able to stay for it. As much as I love listening to live music, it’s even more special when my kid is up there helping make it. I don’t know if/when I’ll get to hear her perform again this year, so this meant a lot to me.
The next morning she drove me to Denver for my flight and walked me to security. We hugged, and I was crying but she was not. I don’t think it was because she wouldn’t miss me. I think it’s because she’s happy there, and I’m glad I got to see that. (And glad I got to see my mountains!!)