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.