A couple of weeks ago we took Maddie to college. It was truly the hardest thing I have ever done. Yes, she was ready. Yes, we knew it was coming. But still, it was harder than I imagined. Maybe because she is our first. Maybe because she has so many health challenges. But no matter, it was not easy.
Here she is at Texas Woman’s University. She moved in a day before the rest of the dorm because we had to thoroughly clean her room and we knew that with twenty floors of students moving in all at once, Maddie would not be able to navigate through the crowds nor have a place to park!
When we got upstairs to her room, there was a comedy of errors as the leadership was using her room for training (you know, since no one was moving in yet..) But they quickly cleared out and bonus for us, they now knew that she was there!
Maddie’s room is on the 4th floor and the view is incredible! I’m so thankful that she has big windows and looks out onto a green space and the chapel.
We cleaned and shopped and decorated her room. Every once in a while I’d just have to stop and take a deep breath. With every placement of a picture or decorative item, I knew we were one step closer to leaving.
Maddie requested that we not cry at the dorm. So, we went out for ice cream before we left. Smart? Maybe. Or Big mistake. I’m not sure.
We really did okay.. until Kylie realized that it was time to go. Watching your baby say goodbye to her sister. Dang. That was brutal.
And then Maddie had to turn and walk away in one direction and we turned and walked in the other direction to the car. I felt like my heart was being ripped out. No, I’m not being dramatic. It was that hard.
Doug drove home and I cried. I wanted to turn around and go back for her. But we didn’t.
Maddie is doing great and making friends. So far, her health is good. My prayer is that she gets truly settled in school and has bonded with her professors before her first relapse. Not seeing her everyday is hard. I can’t look at her face and see how her body is holding up. I can’t hold her hand or touch her shoulder. I’m not there to offer a piece of pumpkin bread or run get her a snack. It sucks.
And that is why sending my child off to college was equal parts pride and sorrow!