Celebrating the Process

This weekend I packed up my youngest, all of her things and moved her into her dorm.

Emotions have been running high. She’s very vocal.  I try to keep it inside letting her vent.

In bumper to bumper traffic, I think, if I could wave a magic wand and have her there unpacked and settled, I would. I’d put myself at home and her at school. Like tearing off a Bandaid. The pain would be momentary; then all would be ok.

A few minutes down the road, I consciously adjusted myself to think about the journey.

And now I realize this is something I do. Sometimes I choose routes to avoid the process.

Sometimes I do it because of time constraints. The times I use the k-cup in the Keurig rather than grind the beans. I don’t have time. But in that choice, I miss the smell of freshly ground beans. That memory is long ago, buried. As technology has improved, I can have a good cup of coffee in an instant. There are advantages. But with the shortcut, I’ve lost a bit of the pleasure of coffee,  of the process.

And sometimes I choose routes to avoid the potential pain. The times when the thought of stopping by to visit aging parents is just too painful. They don’t need me, right now. And going there can be painful. But there is that process. Of aging. I should be present. Even if it brings me to tears, writing about it, thinking about it, the process must be and I am glad I’m there. If I choose not to be, I hurt people who matter, and I rob myself.

Back in my daughter’s dorm room, the one that looked “like a jail cell” now has a sweet inhabitant that has nested in a peach, gray, and white comforter. Surrounded by hanging lights and pictures of her recent past. She has transplanted herself. I’m there to give it one last proper watering.

Outside, the sun streams through palm trees and gathering clouds. This room, this college is now her home. It will have ups and downs but for now, it’s perfect.

I walk out. The doors of the dorm lock behind me. Only those with a key have access. I walk down the arbor-covered pathway, rolling empty suitcases and a heart full of the process. Happy I didn’t have a magic wand.

This week I celebrate the process. Of being there. Thankful.

Thank you, Ruth, for the celebration link up. A place to celebrate our process. Find other celebrations here.

celebrate link up

19 thoughts on “Celebrating the Process

  1. You have a place in each world – the fresh new start that Claire has begun, and the journey your parents are on. And you have the keys to both worlds, really – love. But, of course, that does not take away the pain…that is part of loving, too, isn’t it?

  2. Because I love you, I am crying. I don’t really know why this post touched me like that. There’s a part of me that wants to take away the pain. That’s what I do, gloss it over, pat it away, but you are so right in embracing the process. You are doing what you must do. And that is worth celebrating!

  3. Always so amazing how you choose to stay in the moment in your life AND in your classroom. Although it’s hard, you choose wisely in order to be a guide and a model!!! ❤

  4. Julieanne,
    I am living this life beside you here in Ohio. My college daughter is also very vocal. Her stress is amplified by her vocal skills and our TEN-hour drive to her new home in Auburn Alabama, where it was 102 on move in day! I too wanted to rip off the band-aid and be done! Fortunately, as you have me see it, the process was necessary and beautiful. The stress and anticipation were omnipresent and could not be skipped over, avoided, or brushed under the rug- we lived it! This experience made the return ten-hour drive less painful, and the daily phone calls a highly anticipated event!

  5. Oh, I can identify with this post. Even though it was more than a decade ago when I dropped my last one off at college, I remember it like it was yesterday. The bandaid analogy is so apt. Glad you took the time to process this event.

  6. Without the process there would be no memories. Without the memories there would be no stories. Without the stories there would be no sharing, no community. Thank you sharing a beautiful, painful story of growth and love.

  7. I recently had a high school friends weekend, and many conversations revolved around this same life experience. So many tears and laughs simultaneously. Megan is still living with us and Ethan is attending college here in town too, so I only experience these moments vicariously…but I know my time is coming. I can also relate to the parent path, the one I tend to avoid. You have given me something to think about…as always! Happy Sunday!

  8. You are so wise, Julieanne, to understand that the process is important, no matter how hard it may be. It is important now, and will be in the future, too, to remember. I’ve been there too, in both parts, joy in the moments keeps me content that I was there, as you say you will be, too. Best wishes to your daughter in this new step in her life.

  9. The young and the older generation need us and we move through the process with minor hiccups. Julieanne, your positivity at the end of the post was full of warmth. Stay grounded.

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