So with Moonshine all enrolled in college and leaving in exactly one month, I might be lashing out a little. I know the angst you go through with your teen is normal and helps make the transition to them leaving easier, but there’s nothing easy about this.
About six months ago, Moonshine told me she might want to go to Oklahoma for college. My mom and stepdad are there and my sister is in Dallas so it would be nice for her to go somewhere we have family. It beats her first choice of University of Maryland, which was too expensive, and she didn’t get in to SMU, which is in Dallas, but it was also hella expensive. She did early decision for SMU so she found out around January she didn’t get in and was devastated so I was just happy to see her excited about another college. Moonshine wants to go away and do big things, and I totally get it. I worked really hard to get out of Oklahoma to what I thought was going to be big. You can read my blog to see how that turned out. But I get the wanderlust. I wanted to be a flight attendant and I would have been a really good one. I used to be cute, y’all. But I digress.
In February, after she didn’t get into SMU, we did a tour of the college in Oklahoma and Moonshine loved it. It’s a gorgeous campus, rich with tradition, in the middle of this cute little college town. I know it’s gorgeous, I grew up going to the football games. Sometimes my mom would just leave us at my Aunt Lahoma’s pool hall, The Golden Cue, while she went to the game and we would play pool and eat burgers. My mom has had season tickets for as long as I can remember. Even when times were tough and she had to borrow the money, she got those season tickets. The tickets that Moonshine is going to be able to get in the student section for $60 a season and walk across campus from her dorm to meet grandma and grandpa at the game. A part of me is jealous to have that experience, but for the last four or so months it has seemed like a pipe dream to me. Like, *pat pat*, I know you really want to go there, Moonshine, we’ll see. I’m a skeptic, a realist.
In order for her to go to that college, she had to get this job “no one else wants to do” that covers her room and board. I think it’s in food service, we don’t even actually know. She found out about the job because she called financial aid four times, she talked to the Colorado recruiter, she called anyone who would talk to her about what she could do to pay for college. She talked to her financial aid advisor, who wasn’t very helpful, and then got the name of another financial advisor from the Colorado recruiter and finally heard about this job. She called the lady in charge of placing people in the job approximately five times to find out about how to apply and what to do and when were the applications going out. I can’t wait to meet that lady because she was so amazing and so patient with Moonshine.
And then finally, the packet arrived. She was in Oklahoma helping my mom after her hip replacement and the letter said, Congratulations, University Employee! She didn’t have to apply for the job, she got it. She had to fill out a bunch of paperwork, send her birth certificate and driver’s license pictures, send her resume, and a bunch of health information and she had the job. Well, then it was a little more real for me, like oh no, she might actually be going to Oklahoma for college, but *pat pat*, we’ll see. I’m still a skeptic.
However, as I sat in Wagner Hall on the University of Oklahoma campus on Wednesday morning at 8:15 am, it started to feel a little more real.
Like, what am I doing here?
It wasn’t real to me when she got accepted.Or when she got her room assignment and met her roommate. It wasn’t real when she flew to Oklahoma last week to go to camp.
It wasn’t even real when I took my dogs to my cousin, packed Tenderheart’s car and drove to Oklahoma. It wasn’t real when I went to a Fourth of July barbecue at my Uncle Danny’s, I’ve been known to visit on occasion.
It wasn’t real when I visited my favorite snowcone man, went to Ted’s, and then got her a new backpack and lap pad at Target.
It was real when I sat in that room with other parents and their kids and the Associate Dean said, Your child is going to go with these student guides and meet their advisor and register for classes. They’ll do it alone and this is the first step in their journey alone. WTF?
I seriously almost had a panic attack. I found it hard to breathe and it wasn’t actually the heat. My heart started pounding and I thought, She can’t enroll alone. How will she know what classes she should take? Wait, where is she going? Why can’t I go with her? I don’t understand. All this was in my head, but I literally couldn’t breathe. She’s going away to college. Like away, away. And the skeptic in me is still a little *pat pat*, we’ll see, but she’s enrolled now.
We were sitting on the couch last night and she said, You didn’t think I was actually going, did you? Keep in mind, she’s already packing up her room. And I said, No, to be honest, I didn’t. I still don’t know if you are. The skeptic in me is in some serious denial, but I’m terrified for her that something is going to fall through. I’m so scared that it’s not going to work out. I’m worried that she’s worked so hard to make it happen and it’s not going to work out for her when she deserves it. I guess that’s the mom in me.