Today I got an email from Number 4’s boarding school with all the information about what she needs to do to get ready for her first year.
I read through the student handbook.
I read about General Tips for Packing and Move-In Day.
I read about the Physical Basics.
I read about the Emotional Basics.
I looked at the calendar.
Registration starts the week before Labor Day.
Labor Day Weekend we always go to the Goshen Fair.
We have gone there every single year since the kids were born.
I have gone there just about every single year since I was born.
For the first time in 13 years, Number 4 will not go to the Goshen Fair with us.
For the first time in her life, Number 4 will not be home on her birthday.
Number 4’s birthday is the day before mine, and for the last seven years, we have had a birthday tradition.
This is messing with our tradition.
I didn’t think about this stuff the day we got the exciting news that she was not only accepted, but had received a full, 4-year scholarship.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Number 4.
I am so happy for her.
I am going to live vicariously through her, and I look forward to her sharing her experiences with me.
But you know what I’m not prepared for?
I’m not prepared for all this shit to happen in 124 days.
I have one hundred and twenty fucking four days left.
And then boom.
She’s basically out of the nest.
I realized how not emotionally prepared for this I am when I started reading the parent handbook and my heart rate went through the roof.
The tears came immediately when I started reading the The Emotional Basics.
One of the hardest things to do is remain tranquil.
Yeah, no shit.
The tears started flowing freely.
I moved onto the Registering and Moving In Section.
Chances are the reality of registering and being there has kicked in hard, for
you and your child. Be assured that your various emotions are normal. Others
feel exactly the same way. Breathe—everything will be fine, really.
I’m literally sobbing now. Sitting in my home.
With Number 4 still here.
I am breathing.
I am not feeling like everything is going to be fine.
I’m feeling like I’m watching that goddamn commercial where the dad gives his daughter the keys to the car and she gets in the driver seat and he looks at her and he sees her as her three-year-old self.
You know, like this:
Move in day is going to be really ugly for me and really embarrassing for Number 4.
I kept reading.
After lunch, registration, and unloading, students report to fall extracurricular
activities or Inbound (new students) while new parents attend a meeting
hosted by the Head of School. You’ll say goodbye to your child before the
parent meeting. It may be difficult to part—you to your meeting and your
child to Inbound. Know that your child will be busy immediately and for the
rest of the day.
I’LL SAY GOODBYE TO NUMBER 4 BEFORE THE MEETING???
And then I have to sit in a room with other parents??? And the head of the school?
AND KEEP MY SHIT TOGETHER???
I think I may need to skip the meeting.
I kept reading.
When it’s time to leave, leave gracefully. Expect some tears and tension from
your child. Expect to shed some tears as you drive away.
There is literal snot coming out of my nose as I am reading the parent handbook, four months before my daughter has to leave for school, while she is just upstairs.
I am going to need medication to leave gracefully.
I think I might actually need medication NOW.
I’ve given birth 5 times.
I’ve run 6 marathons.
But this is for sure going to be the hardest event I’ve ever participated in.
I’ve got 124 days to prepare and train for it.
And I really don’t think that’s enough time.
But then again, no amount of time will ever really be enough.
So I guess I better stop stressing about what’s gonna happen four months from now and start focusing on making the most of these next 124 days.