Last weekend, BP's ex was dropping something off at our house and looked plaintively at BP. "Our baby is leaving," he said, disbelievingly. BP nodded. They both looked slightly shellshocked.
Today is move-in day, and the Boy (all 6 ft of him) and his parents will drive to the campus and move him into his college dorm room, with a roommate he's never met. He's the youngest child, so this is not only a transition for him, but for his parents, and thus for me, the step-parent. I don't think the Boy sees it in quite the same way as we do; he's going to school not far from home, and I am sure we'll see him for laundry and meals on weekends. I suspect he views it more like an extended camp than "moving away from home". He's not terribly academic by nature, not uncommon in young men his age, though I hope that like most students, he'll grow into it.
But regardless, this is a huge change for us. No longer will we have a teenager to keep track of on a Saturday night or to wake up on a Monday morning in time for school. No more lunches to make, or trips to the high school to drop off a form. The house will stay tidier and we won't be tripping over soccer cleats in the garage (no parent lets cleats into the house more than once. ....yech!) Our life will change quite a lot, without the Boy as a central focus.
One of the nice things about his new school is that they have a formal Convocation to welcome the new students to campus. This is an old academic tradition, sadly uncommon now, that functions as a starting bookend, to be concluded with Commencement in four or five years. (Some schools call the ceremony Matriculation.) I was a bit surprised to find out that the Boy's large state school maintains this tradition. Tomorrow morning, the marching band will rouse the freshman and lead them from their dorms to the arena, where they will be formally welcomed by the faculty and administration to the university community.
I know that BP, Ex, and I will be tearful in the stands. the Boy will be mortified if he sees us. But of course, who we see isn't only the tall, handsome young man looking confidently to his sunny future, but the small boy chasing a soccer ball, the chubby pre-teen longing for his growth spurt to begin, the lanky high school student taking his first girlfriend to a dance. The nestling has fledged, leaving us behind, and we will have to crane our necks to see him soar.
Juvenes dum sumus.....
Vivat membrum quodlibet
Vivant membra quaelibet
Semper sint in flore.