Tag Archives: college move-in

Time to Cry Tuesday – Going, Going, Gone

“Mom, when are we going to go and get my stuff?”

That was the question in the last dream I had before I woke up. And there I was lying in bed thinking of what a busy day I had today and how guilty I felt that I did not have time to go with him to ‘get his stuff’.

Until I realized that there was no stuff to get (we had surely ‘gotten’ more ‘stuff’ over the past 4 days than humanly possibly). AND there was no Danny.

Yes, kiddies, after a year of ‘lasts’ and goodbyes ad nauseum as each of his friends left for college, my boy finally left too. Taking pride in being a family that is not prone to drama we were about on our last nerve until the moving day finally came. It feels like he has been going for so long I wonder why I felt so shocked this morning that he was actually gone.

So here is the thing; it comes in waves. When you think you have totally got your shit together and you know your kid is ready – and frankly so are you(ish) –  it grabs you around the chest and chokes you so can barely breathe. You know it is time for him to move on to start his LIFE (note the caps) and time for you to discover the next phase of yours. Of course you know all this!

And then there is that moment. Like the one in the Starbucks on State Street while I was ordering Shaken Iced Tea Lemonades and they had the nerve to play Cat Stevens Father and Son:

It’s not time to make a change,

Just relax, take it easy.

You’re still young, that’s your fault,

There’s so much you have to go through…

And there was my boy, sitting in the dim light at the back of the Starbucks with the sunlight streaming in through the window shining an eery glow around his silhouette. There he was with his scruffy beard and his Allman Bros. t-shirt and I realized that I had no choice but to let him go… for real.

And yes, I did start to cry right then and there in the Starbucks on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin. And no he was not all that happy with me but he did get it. Because he knew that by the end of the weekend when we left him and his sister, we would be leaving half our family halfway across the country. And there is simply nothing easy about that.

… Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away.


Filed under advice to my son, college, danny, family, Jana, parenting, Time to Cry Tuesdays

College Move-in, Big Box Style


This post is dedicated to all you fellow parents out there partaking in the annual ritual of moving your offspring into the countless institutions of higher learning across this great land.

You know who you are. All of you flocking to the big box stores, veteran patrons of the Bed Bath and Beyond retail brainstorm: ‘pack and hold’. Consumers of everything that is not nailed down in Target’s ‘College ’09’ aisle. Walmart, Costco and Best Buy fans. If you are anything like me, around hour 36 you were resembling some sort of parental Night of the Living Dead character wandering around the aisles insisting on ridiculous items like shoe organizers and storage bins ad nauseam; the last shred of your sanity gone out the window with your third Starbucks of the day.

Seriously folks, we have surely lost our minds, have we not?

And if I were to guess correctly, most of you went off to college with some big ass ole Bose 901 speakers, a few cinder blocks and wood boards, a couple of orange and milk crates and an album collection that took up three quarters of your parents’ car.

There were no fashionable color coordinated canvas storage bins or over the door hooks, no shower caddies or must have bed in a bag sets. You had some clothes, a few towels, the old linens from your parents’ house an indian tapestry bed spread from the headshop and you were good to go.

Show of hands please, how many of  you had the coordinated dust ruffle for your bed? Yeh, that’s what I thought. Come to think of it, we did not even have bed frames, the fashion of the times was box spring and mattress on the floor. Anybody out there feeling like their college years were somehow not fulfilled because they did not own the ShamWow, or its pathetic copycat, the ShamEase (whose name is not nearly as cool).

So what has made us fall into this trap? Oh right, because we created it. We are the As Seen on TV generation of parents and damn it our kids’ will be organized and color coordinated even if it makes us broke!

Hey, I am not pointing fingers. I am as guilty as they come. You might recognize me as the woman who was wondering up State Street in Madison, WI muttering about the third curtain rod I bought that was finally the right size while searching for a hardware store to buy a rubber mallet.

Don’t ask!

(Stay tuned tomorrow for the funny stories)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, college, humor, Jana, moms, parenting

College Move In: Year Three


Year one was the year of the space bags. I was simply out of my mind. Seriously, the dog was nervous that she would find herself in one of these bags with the air sucked out of it with a vacuum. It was the year of the famous 10 lb. dorm room in 5 lbs. of luggage.

Year two was the sorority house move in. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 degrees, of course no air conditioning, 3 flights of steps, a lost printer and the embarrassing UPS story about the lost 21 lb. box of shoes.

I swore I was done with move in and move out, but when your kid is only home for 3 days in August you sacrifice some sleep and break every nail on both hands just to squeeze out a little more time with her.

This year lacks drama big time. Home from camp on Sunday, upack, 13 loads of laundry, and re-pack. This kid is amazing, in 45 minutes she packed for a whole semester. It took me longer to pack for the 2 days I would be gone. In my defense there was a weather check and I had to make adjustments.

So off I go to Madtown, one of my favorite places. With my daughter, one of my favorite peops.

I am sure there will be a few good blog posts out of this one.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under education, family, Jana, moms

I could have used those 8 arms!

This is kind of what I looked like over the past 48 hours. College move in day is always a bittersweet, hectic marathon. 

Pack. Unpack. Shop. Eat. Hydrate. Hug. Laugh. Run cable wire (jack is ALWAYS on the opposite side of the room from the TV). Call the internet guy. Track missing packages. Meet her friends. Lose the car keys (constantly, I am a space cadet). Eat room service. 

Spending the time alone with my daughter is such a treat it is well worth the insanity. Seriously, not only did she embrace pulling over to get this shot, but she took it! Oh how we love the Octopus Car Wash!

Thanks Jana, for being you! Hopefully you will find the missing internet guy and be able to read this!


Filed under family, humor, parenting, signage