I have so many thoughts and feelings swirling through my head as we get ready to drop Marty off for his first year of college. First and foremost is “Holy shit…where did 18 yrs go?” Yeah, really. That is what I am thinking. I remember when he was little enough to be held in one arm and now he doesn’t really need any holding at all.
Second, I have a sense of relief. Marty has been through so much with his health challenges and the emergence of his OCD. It is truly a relief to realize that he has overcome these challenges to a level where he won’t just survive in college but he has overcome to a level where I truly believe he will thrive. I must admit that a small amount of the relief I am feeling is personal relief because helping him learn to cope with his OCD has taken a huge amount of time and effort from me…and, then I feel a little guilty because I’m feeling relief over his leaving for college…aren’t I just suppose to miss him?
I also feel proud. Proud of Marty and the young man he has become. Proud of the whole family because we haven’t let life’s challenges derail our growth or our ability to love one another. Gabe definitely isn’t ready to have his big brother leave.
I have constant checklists running through my head. Lists of school supplies, lists of dorm room supplies, and lists of personal fill every square inch of my brain. And, of course, in addition to all the normal stuff, I have the lists of OCD/germaphobia coping materials running through it all…cleaning supplies, latex gloves, etc. I remember shopping for college stuff with my mom but I certainly don’t remember the myriad of details that seem to be crowding every corner of my brain. It is kind of overwhelming trying to go through the lists of the necessities of life (with lots of help from Marty, of course). I know he isn’t going to college in outer Mongolia. I know he is only going to be three hours away. I know there is a store in walking distance of campus and, if push comes to shove, Amazon can get it there in 2 days. But, it’s not easy to be logical and rational when it’s your oldest baby going off to college.
I also feel a great sense of pride, security, and satisfaction when I think about where he is going to be going to school. Lenoir-Rhyne is a great school. I have every confidence that he will come out of there with an education that will let him pursue his dreams. It also makes me extremely proud that Marty selected a school that will nurture his faith while exposing him to a diverse student body at the same time. The sense of security comes from the fact that L-R is a small school. It is small enough that if you need to contact the main university office, they will recognize your student’s name. It truly is a school where you are NOT a number.
Despite feeling the trepidation all parents feel when their oldest goes off to school, I truly believe Lenoir-Rhyne is a school that will allow Marty to grow and learn and thrive. I believe it will allow him the chance to explore his passions and to truly figure out what he wants to do with his life. I truly believe it is a community that will give him the security he needs to take risks and the resources he needs to pick himself up and keep going if any of those risk turn into stumbling blocks. L-R will let him take charge of his life and his future.
What more can any parent ask for?