It’s oh so true. Everything they said about how fast it all goes, it’s so damn true. You’re gonna blink, then find yourself in the Bed, Bath & Beyond with a dorm list, a headache, and a massive panic attack working it’s way up your chest, making it feel like your heart is practically pounding in your throat. So load up the car with plastic storage, towel sets, your sense of humor, and a very large box of tissue because your firstborn going to college!
1. OMG. OMG! OMG! This is happening. It’s really happening! He’s outta here!
2. Packing sucks, especially when it’s your “baby’s” stuff.
3. No, you cannot just bring one pair of flip-flops as your only pair of shoes. Yes, you need a nice pair of pants.
4. Did we bring everything? Of course not. He needs a what?! I’m going broke.
5. I’m not going to Target five times today. Not gonna do it.
6. There’s the dorm! I can do this. I can do this. I can do this!
7. I can’t do this.
8. How on earth did my mom ever leave me here 26 years ago?
9. Stairs. Lots and lots of stairs. Remind him stairs are no fun when drunk.
10. Neither are hangovers. Have the drinking talk again, stat.
11. Awww! Look at all these smart kids. They all look so happy!
12. And nervous. A few look a little nervous. No, very nervous. I want to hug them. Does anyone make eye contact anymore?
13. Okay, the nervous ones are walking five steps behind a very nervous mom.
14. Lord, please tell me I am not that mom.
15. I’m not old enough to have a kid in college. Nope. Nope. Nope.
16. That girl looks 12 years old. So small and young! Is her mother just gonna leave her here?
17. That girl looks 25 years old. Like, well-developed. My husband is trying so hard to avert his eyes it’s not even funny.
18. When did girls’ underwear just become their shorts? Stop looking. They’re not your daughters.
19. But they could totally end up being your daughter-in-law.
20. But not anytime soon. Dear God, please let him not have sex like ever.
21. Before you leave, explain again what “no” means. Like, until you’re blue in the face.
22. Note to self: Tour all-male colleges with next kid.
23. Girls living in the room right next door. What?! I’m so stuck in 1955.
24. The dorm laundry room. His new laundry room (snort). One less child’s laundry at home! Praise God!
25. I’ll bet good money he comes home with every single thing he owns absolutely filthy.
26. Hello, Target. It’s me again.
27. Met the roommate. He’s uber-clean and organized (chuckle). This is not a match made in heaven. And I don’t care! It’s out of my hands!
28. One toilet. One shower. Four 18-year-old males. Throwing up in my mouth a little.
29. Buy more bleach.
30. Resist the urge to fold all his towels and stack them neatly in the closet. Resist!
31. Okay, well, at least I’m gonna make his bed up all nice and pretty. He lets me. Don’t let him see the tears welling up in your eyes. Don’t.
32. I want to squeeze him so hard it hurts, but there are other students around and he needs to be “cool.”
33. I can’t do this.
34. Met the roommate’s dad. He appears as shell-shocked as me. We exchanged a glance that said, “So those 18 years went by fast, huh?”
35. Ramen. Rice. Canned Soup. All safe bets and no chance he accidentally burns this place down, right?
36. That mattress needs about 10 more layers of padding, but thank god it’s wrapped in plastic. Ewwwww.
37. Hand soap, cherry blossom scent. Will these guys even use this? Another ewwwww.
38. Gray. Navy. Gray. Navy. Boys don’t decorate. Or accessorize. Or coordinate. This place is just one set of metal bars away from looking like a prison cell.
39. Can I just go down the hall and look in some of the girls’ dorm rooms so I can “Ooh” and “ahh” from the door?
40. Oh, lord, he’s just throwing his clothes in drawers unfolded. Deep breath. Not my dresser. Not my room. Not my problem!
41. Other kid and parents arguing in the hallway. I don’t want to leave on a note like that. Keep your mouth closed, smile, and take in the moment happily.
42. I can’t do this.
43. College kids these days need very little. No, the alarm clock, notepads, notebooks, pens and pencils, flashlight, address book, camera, and a million other things have all been replaced by just their phone and a laptop. Cool.
44. If I call and he doesn’t answer and then claims “My phone was dead, sorry,” I’m calling BS.
45. Send him backup phone battery and extra changing cords.
46. Tylenol — check. Cough syrup — check. Bandaids — check. When he gets sick, he’s gonna be totally screwed without a mom here. Oh well.
47. Time to say goodbye!
48. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this!
49. Hug him tightly, tell him you’re proud and excited for his new season of life, then walk out confidently. Do not cry until you’re in the car and on the highway.
50. I did it! I took my kid to college and didn’t lose it. Commence tears. Happy tears!