AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: June 21, 2012 | COMMENTS: 43 Comments
I always wince a bit when I hear older mother’s advise moms with little ones to cherish every moment because “in a blink, they’ll be gone.” Let’s face it, there are so many moments of motherhood that don’t fly by. Nights with a vomiting feverish child, public temper tantrums in Target, and hours spent pacing the floor with a colicky baby can make time stand hellishly still. But as I pulled into my driveway Friday night, after three days and 1400 miles with my oldest son searching for the college of his dreams, I was sad. I know that is likely that I will never have that kind of one on one time with him again. EVER. I just can’t believe that in a little more than a year he’ll be gone. How did that happen?
Instead of wallowing about where time went, I’m eagerly embracing the opportunity to help him decide where he’ll spend the next four years of his life. And I’m learning, too. Apparently college has changed a bit since my days at Miami U!
Drew is focused on studying journalism. That made our first stop the University of Missouri—which boasts the number one journalism school in the country, and, if I do say so myself, a kick-butt campus. I admit, I was dreading the drive from Toledo to Columbia. It is quite a trek. Drew asked if we could fly, but I insisted on driving to make a point. I wanted him to know just how far away Mizzou was.
“You go here, Drew, and you are pretty much on your own. There’ll be no fly-by visits from Mom and Dad!”
Could that be his objective?
When we finally arrived, Drew insisted that we go straight to campus.
Our first stop…Sparkys.
You know you are in college when the campus ice cream shop sells Guinness floats. I didn’t try one but my guess is Drew will—eventually—if he attends this school.
The next day held a university tour, full of beautiful campus views.
As we walked through the academic buildings and perfectly manicured quads (Mizzou’s campus is a registered botanical garden), it reminded me of my own college days, until we hit the crowning glory of the…
It was then that I realized college had changed a bit.
Student unions look more like upscale shopping mall food courts…
And rec centers resemble five start hotels…
And that folks…is a spa. (Located in the rec center for students.)
The bikini clad outdoor pool at Mizzou definitely beat the plastic baby pool my roomates and I used to fill with a hose in the backyard of my dorm.
By the end of the day, I was ready to enroll.
From Mizzou we drove to Marquette University. Drew started the day in Milwaukee with a run. We were meeting with the cross country and track coach later that morning, and I suggested that he wait and get some advice as to a good route. He refused. He wanted to run to the lake—see the city. I relented, yelling after him to be careful, and then watched him run off, all by himself, in a major metropolitan area.
He is breaking away.
Marquette is beautiful. The campus is urban, but filled with character.
It’s Jesuit, and I love the Jesuits! (They can educate like no other!)
Drew liked it. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles of the big state school we’d just come from, but he felt comfortable there. And he really liked the coach.
Thursday night took us to my favorite city in the world.
Drew’s told us before that he wants to live in a big city. The promise of endless opportunities appeal to him. And as always, Chicago delivered.
The idea of Drew living on his own in Chicago, at the age of eighteen, is intimidating.
But there is not doubt in my mind…he’s ready to fly the nest.
I’m just not sure that I’m ready to see him soar.
Depaul University is located in the heart of Lincoln Park. Frankly, I don’t think it should be legal to go to college in such a cool place. Drew couldn’t disagree more.
We headed home Friday night, discussing his options. He liked all the schools. There are a few more he wants to visit, which brought a smile to my face. Not because I didn’t like anything we’d seen. I loved them all. But more visits equals more time with my oldest, and as the reality of his inevitable exit from my daily life looms in the near future, I’ll take all the time with him I can get.
Time does fly. Soak it up because in a blink, they’ll be gone.