Originally posted in August 2014, Updated August 2020
This weekend was spent taking Sarah back to school. She is going into her senior year at the University of San Diego. The fact that I am saying her SENIOR year is somewhat difficult for me. Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday she was just starting 1st grade.
We drove down to San Diego first thing Saturday morning. We are very fortunate my dad lives there so we are able to crash at his house. Although this year, he is out of town this weekend and managed to miss out on all the moving in fun! My dad’s house is awesome and Sarah and I enjoyed his beautiful pool in the afternoon before embarking on our evening shopping festivities.
We then headed into the abyss that is Target on a college move-in weekend. Targets in southern CA tend to be two story stores. Many of them are in old Bullocks or May Company’s (does anyone but me remember Bullocks?). These two story Targets are behemoths! Add this too hundreds of college students and their parents frantically looking for bed risers and microwaves and give got a recipe for disaster!
Since Sarah is in her last year, we only needed some basics. We went in with a specific list and hoped to come out alive. An hour later, we emerged with two bags and a crock pot. Two little bags = over $200. Target is making a killing this weekend,that’s all I can say. By the time we got out of there, I had honestly had enough! Good thing there was still cheesecake left over to be eaten while watching Miss Congeniality for the 100th time.
The next day we headed to USD early to get her key and get the mountains of stuff she has into her room. She is on the orientation team so is allowed to move in early f0r her training this week. It took three car loads from my dads to get her stuff in her apartment, but ultimately we were successful! I can’t believe this is the last time.
Because I am a teacher, I experience the first day of school every year. I teach 8th grade, so there usually aren’t very many teary moms or kids outside my door, BUT – I am very observant and I always see the kindergarteners crying because they are sad to leave their moms and some teary eyed moms hiding behind their sunglasses (believe me, I know! I used to hide behind my sunglasses- frequently) because they can’t believe their babies are starting real school. I would love to tell these moms to treasure these first days of school and every tear they may bring, because you will blink and it will be your last first day.
Oh, The Memories…
Thinking back, I believe I have experienced 20 first days of school. Now, I face my last. I am incredibly proud of my daughters. They have faced some real adversity in their lives and have always risen above it. I am thrilled with how they choose to live their lives and the choices they make. But, I can’t help but feel just a little sad that an era is ending. There are no more American Girl dolls, or Winnie the Pooh on my TV. The matching outfits have been tucked away and “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” is no longer on repeat in the car. My babies are all grown up.
So, my message to you if you are reading this- treasure every second. EVERY second- even when they’re driving you crazy because there are toys everywhere or they beg you to play that one song AGAIN in the car. Enjoy the times they have a tantrum becuase they have to take a bath, or the times they stomp up the stairs becuase you tell them to change the skirt that is too short. The time will fly and soon you will find yourself standing on the curb at the airport watching your baby drive away, thankful you are wearing sunglasses to hide the tears in your eyes.
Update for 2020:
I originally wrote this in August of 2014, when Sarah was starting her senior year at the University of San Diego. In the six years since, many things have changed, which have been documented on my blog. One of the biggest? Sarah is back to school! She is starting a Doctorate program in English at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.
To say I am proud would be an understatement. I am so proud of both my girls. Sarah has now moved across the country and is embarking on her dream. I still think about those first days of school through the years and miss my little girls, but I love the women they have become and the joy I feel witnessing them grow and live their best lives is better than I ever thought.
My message is still the same – cherish your time with your babies. It will simply fly by. Cherish the crazy times, the frustrations, the wins, the losses, the love, the fights. Cherish it all.