Dropping my son off at college and driving away was harder than 24 hours of labor with an epidural that didn’t take, and lots of pushing, culminating in a messy C-section. I’m not kidding. At least that time, he came home with me. I’ve never sent a kid off to college before, and I couldn’t wait for his first weekend back at home.
I dove headfirst into obsessive and irrational homecoming preparations. I scrubbed his room and bathroom, and laundered his sheets and towels with extra fragrant softeners. In the back of my mind, I knew he either wouldn’t notice, or hate the allergy-inducing scents, but I needed to feel like I was controlling something (and my younger daughter already warned me not to focus all my energy on her). I even shopped for his favorite foods, vaguely acknowledging that he would likely sleep through breakfast and lunch. I stopped myself before ordering a “welcome home” balloon bouquet, realizing that he’s an 18-year-old boy, and that my behavior would not only freak him out, but his sister as well.