willowbrook farm

historic yellow springs

Through the Looking Glass~ Part 3

Wow! I am now trying to navigate in a sea of testosterone with one oar and no course mapped out for me.  We just came back from taking our only daughter to her first year of college which leaves me the lone female of the house. No, the animals do not count! It is not that we had a lack of testosterone flowing here before Kelsey’s departure, it is just that she seemed to be a voice of reason with her four brothers. Did I mention that she also has a clean driver’s record and was a wonderful helper in the transportation department of our home? Anyway, we have all been adjusting to her absence!
It’s not that we do not love the roughness and tumbles that are everyday occurrences at our house…it is just that she brought a different perspective to things. For example, our 16 year old son was diagnosed with an obscure syndrome almost a year and half ago that caused him to miss his entire Sophomore year of High school. I will not go into details but it causes him to sleep an inordinate amount of time each day (no he is not just being a teenage boy). Getting him up is a massive undertaking of which when he finally gets up and has to be somewhere, the long hair that is en vogue these days is anything but attractive! He is attempting to go back to school and in doing so, he cut his hair so as not to have to worry about that minor detail. You would have thought it was Delilah that had cut Sampsons’ hair and zapped him of all of his strength when he walked in the kitchen and the boys saw him. Let’s just say that they did not like it. Meanwhile, I texted his sister a picture of the newly coiffed Shane and she loves it! “He looks so clean cut and handsome and he won’t have to think about his hair in the morning!” Case in point! She at least made him feel a little bit better about the change and brought some reason to the plate.
Anyway, her college departure was so not reminiscent of mine! I think my parents packed up the van after a trip to K Mart to get all my supplies in ONE shopping trip and then basically dropped me off and waved (after my new floor mates played a game of bowling with my twin brother and sister who were 4 at the time. They were the bowling pins) They were not any different than anyone else’s parents, that is just how it was done. (Well, maybe a little different, there was that trip to Maine where we looked like the Clampets on the way back home with the antlers of a moose strapped to the front of the car along with several pieces of furniture tied to the top of the Jeep Wagoneer. )Well, after several shopping trips, we did pack up the car, drove down to NC and then dropped her off, only to check into our hotel where we then participated in the Parent’s Orientation for 2 days while she participated in 5 days of Orientation. Boy were we impressed! They went over every protocol and procedure from Ad/Drops, Advisors, Scheduling of classes and the workload (Yes, the nick name “Work” Forest is appropriate), Reasonable amount of activities they should participate in, Dorm Life, Dining Hall and what would happen should the kids be busted on campus for drinking vs. off campus. What an enlightening 2 days! Again, my experience was that the goodbye wave was followed up by a call from the “Hall Phone” a couple of days later telling my parents that all was well.  My parents never experienced that enlightenment and did I forget to tell you that being 15 when I experienced the ride home from Maine has put me in therapy?
Just kidding, all joking aside, we were blown away by the presentation and the information that we took in. The main points that were reiterated over and over again was that these students that they are educating academically they are also educating to live their lives with purpose and with intention. I do not remember that piece of advice in college, do you? I think we all could use a little of that! Think conscious engagement of time…my time is engaged, that is for sure…but is it done consciously or unconsciously? The second point that we heard over and over again is that the students need to connect with their Professors face to face…emails or texts will only be accepted in certain situations. Yes, this world is centered around technology but this generation needs to know how to express their views and raise their questions face to face. Whatever the case may be, these students are given huge amounts of decision making experiences as we all were, with a little more thought put into “conscious living”.
We did leave Wake with much sadness for we left a piece of us that we have been molding, shaping and loving for 18 years now but we did leave with an awareness that this is the natural progression of growing up and that she is in a great place to surmount all those growing pains of independence. As one of the  professors told us in our Orientation of his experience with his own kids, “I had watered and fertilized them well, gave them sunlight and darkness, and hoped to hell that they grew up right…what more can you do?”
We were envious of the beautiful campus and wished we could do it all over again!
Small is a an understatement when we saw the size of her dorm room! We did transform it into an attractive space when we finished and we fit all of her stuff and her roommates in it. We scored big on a Pottery Barn Outlet Duvet, sheets and pillow shams that transformed the bed (after we lofted one of them…the double bunk thing was not cutting it for 2 girls…now my boys would have loved that!)
Again, stunned by the beauty of the campus!
(working on getting a better camera…thanks to many of you who have suggested that!) I have begun my next post which is a continuation of our North Carolina venture…after Hurricane Irene departed! OMG! it is pouring again! Great day to be a duck!

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