5 Things I Won't Miss When My Only Child Leaves For College

by Jamison Renfro
Originally Published: 

My daughter, my only child, is packing up and moving on to college. After years of it just being the two of us, our own little Gilmore Girls family, I’ll miss her when she is gone. I am also secretly dreaming of the things that will change when it is just the dog and me puttering around the house:

1. I will eat dessert for dinner.

Something about having ice cream for dinner doesn’t convey the healthy eating habits that I’d like to instill. I have been able to justify fondue for two, since it is fun to do and includes broccoli, carrots and apples as a means to transport melted cheese into our mouths. A turtle brownie doesn’t have the same balance, not even with the pecans as a source of protein. But soon, I can eat a sundae any time I want without fear of setting a bad example. Maybe I should get a second freezer.

2. Tampons will be where I left them.

I’m still amazed that we can have similar cycles and a stockpile an extreme couponer would be proud of and still, I have to holler out for her to fetch me a “stick.” If only they could magically appear or the package would refill itself when the last product is removed. The hallway closet resembling aisle 7 of our local grocery store is less than seven steps from either of our bathrooms, so why is it that my stash is always empty?!

3. Netflix suggestions will apply to me.

I like a light romantic comedy or a period piece of the Tudor type. Right now, Netflix keeps telling me I would love a yoga documentary, Twin Peaks or Winnebago Man. My daughter’s interest in cult classics and documentaries trends far from my preferences, like Reign or Grace and Frankie.

4. Towels will no longer hide in the house or fill the laundry hamper.

I love that girl, but she uses towels like they are going out of style. She has long hair, and it takes an effort to dry. However, the full-sized towels become deposited throughout the house. Said towels are retrieved later with the sour, funky smell of crumpled linens with mostly-rinsed shampoo and conditioner residue. Off to her laundry bin they go. Luckily, laundry is a skill she mastered early on.

5. The former coffee budget can become cash for dinners with friends.

As I have gotten older, caffeine seems to have a strong effect on me if I have it after noon. Girlfriend seems to be able to have a cuppa morning, noon and night. Unlike my twice-used french vanilla K-Cups, she prefers a strong French roast, one pod per cup. I figure the budget can be reconfigured now to allow me to have a night or two out on the town with my girlfriends; knowing where the happy hour and early bird discounts are happens to be a super power of mine!

The list of what I won’t miss when my daughter leaves is small, and the days will be long. I will have the time to get to know my Roku, and Netflix may finally understand me while I am eating cupcakes on the couch. Who knows, I might even discover who is responsible for leaving the shoes all over the place and cluttering the kitchen table. If nothing else, I know I will be surrounded by friends who also love a dinner or drink special, and my daughter will still only be a text away, probably dropping her towel somewhere it doesn’t belong.

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