Our daughter Tory is officially a college Freshman; my husband Mike and I helped her move into her dorm room at Rutgers University on Saturday afternoon and she begins classes today. Another milestone, in her life and ours, was packing and moving out of the family home. Even though we all know it’s only for September-May, we also know that all of our lives will never be the same. Right here, right now I’m sitting in a very quiet house with only my faithful Siamese Brutus by my side. Food shopping, actually any kind of shopping, will be seriously lacking in fun without my larger-than-life baby girl by my side! Adjustments. We will all be making adjustments over these next days and months.
On Friday night Tory and I packed the truck with all her “must haves” and important worldly possessions. I am happy to report that some of her newly important possessions include cleaning supplies. After so many years of reveling in softball grit and volleyball sweat I didn’t expect Tory to embrace the, uh, cleaner side of life. I’ll be curious to see if said supplies move back into our home in May, unused.
Moving our beloved baby into Rutgers was a snap. Unlike Penn State, which we moved our son Max in to and out of 3 times, Rutgers has a system in place that makes organized parents like me relaxed and happy. Rutgers employs “move-in specialists,“ Rutgers upperclassmen, who help incoming Freshman families navigate the parking, unloading and settling-in process. These cheerful young people rolled huge dumpster-like containers up to the rear of our truck, unloaded all Tory’s stuff into the containers, wheeled the containers into Tory’s new home (chatting her up the whole time), unloaded her stuff into neat piles, waved cheerfully and exited her dorm room so we could unpack. I’m telling you, I thought I died and went to heaven; I didn’t break a sweat humping all her stuff into her room on that 90-plus degree day!
Tory lucked out in her dorm room assignment. She’s on the first floor (with sturdy security gates on every window). The room, a corner unit, is huge as far as dorm rooms go. The bathroom and shower are right around the corner from her room. The only downside is that the dorm doesn’t have AC; it has ceiling fans in the rooms, but it’s still hot, hot, hot this time of year. One of the move-in specialists was quick to tell Tory that the heat is only bad for the first 3 weeks of school, until fall weather kicks in. Oh. Did I mention that Tory’s roommate Amanda is a delight?
Working like a well-oiled machine. We unpacked Tory’s stuff: Mike assembled the fan we’d brought along, installed the Command hooks and hung Tory’s artwork and towel (separate hooks, of course). I organized her closet. Then I made her bed, happily shaking out the bedding and smoothing it in place, all the while realizing that this first time will likely be the only time during her Freshman year that her bed will actually be neatly made. Tory organized clothing in her dresser and school supplies in her desk; she also laid out her toiletries and other important stuff. The whole time Tory was her happy humming self, quick to smile and joke with us on this milestone day.
All too soon the room was organized, snacks and drinks safely stowed under the bed and on the extra shelf in the closet. It was time to leave her. Luckily for Mike and me Tory had to attend a mandatory meeting and rushed off quickly, leaving hugs and kisses in her wake. Our sparkly daughter is on her way. Self sufficient. The way it’s supposed to happen.