Friday, August 21, 2015

Baby on Board

Today was the last day of summer vacation.  I had my last leisurely breakfast of the summer with one of my kiddos headed off to be a freshman at Williams this fall.  Michaela hasn't started the checklist of shopping for the new dorm room yet, trying to figure out what she TRULY needs, and confidently realizing that the room at school, while slightly larger than her room at home, will contain TWO bodies and their possessions.  Given that she's just returned from six weeks in Europe, she's pretty adept at living small.

Somewhere along the evolution pathway for education, back to school shopping became an event. (Perhaps, even a sport.)  Teachers start gathering 10 cent notebooks, ridiculously cheap gluesticks, and crayons and markers as early as mid-July.  Bed, Bath and Beyond (aka BBB) (which truly lives up to its name) has pre-printed LISTS  of all the purchases necessary for the perfect college experience.    These lists create a hype similar to that fostered by the greeting card industry on February 14th.  You're not sure why you have to buy, but feel that it's obligatory.  Parents of elementary kids are seeking the perfect lunchbox and backpack ensemble. 

"Why are the beds longer?" Michaela asked, as she scanned the list of recommended purchases sent to her from college.  Good question.  I believe it's all part of the BBB hype, forcing college kids to purchase new sheets, convincing them that the ones they already own are sub-standard.  It's the first conspiracy theory of college.  (Chances are pretty good that your sheets at home are "deep pocket" sheets, which will perfectly fit that longer mattress in college, which is probably the thickness of a panini.)

Yes, there are many minivans headed out this weekend.  Some are filled with mommas looking for a lunchbox for first graders, some are filled with families taking their freshmen babies -- and maybe even some of their hand-me-down furniture, to college, and still others are filled with teachers scrambling to make that room more than perfect for their new kiddos.  It's about making someplace new feel like home, and making a place for memories to be born, whether it be kindergarten or that very first dorm room or apartment.

It seems like just yesterday that those vans sported yellow window stickers bragging about the "Baby on Board."

It's still true.  The carseat and diaper bag may have been replaced by the furniture from the family room, a color tv, and the carpet from the guest room, with little room to see out the back window at all.  

Which is a good thing, because the only way to look at this point is straight ahead.  (That way they don't see the tears in your eyes.)

One more thing...

Earlier this week, I tossed the gauntlet (for a second time -- okay, maybe third or fourth), encouraging my friend, David, to work through the massive changes in the dynamics of his family as he sends his firstborn off to college.  Heck, Mere had already stepped up to the blogging challenge, why not David?  

And so, another blogging newbie was born.   Visit David at I'm still in Charge Here.

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