One of the saddest things for me right now is that I won't be bringing Chris to college. I seem to find myself sobbing over that continuously. It was all we talked about these past months. We had been out visiting colleges in five states. As much as I dreaded dropping Jeremy off his Freshman year, I wouldn't have traded it for the world! The fear of leaving him, the worry he wasn't eating right, wondering if he'd make some friends, not being able to see him, unsure he was scheduling his timing right to be in class on time, so many frightening feelings for parents to contend with. He was my child, my special boy. We were scared when we drove away, I was sobbing of course but we made it thru. I was really looking forward to that same anguish with Chris. That would be good anguish, if there is such a thing, it meant growing up, taking that next step and letting him experience some freedom of a whole new world. I wanted to help him settle into his room, buy him twin XL sheets, bathroom stuff, pads of paper and one of those spinning trays you put paper clips and tape and push pins and pens in. I did all of that with Jeremy and loved it. Shoot, I actually went out and traded my sedan for an SUV the month before we took Jeremy to Holy Cross so that we'd have plenty of room for all his stuff! I was really into it as much as my heart ached knowing we'd be parting with him. I so looked forward to doing that with Chris too.
I've often called Jeremy our "guinea pig" of sorts. Since he was our first we were reluctant to allow him to do things. We were nervous and sometimes irrational. Jeremy slept in two pairs of pj's from the time we brought him home from the hospital until he was probably four. We didn't want him to be cold if he rolled out of his blankets. We didn't allow him to ride a two wheeler as early as some, for fear of him falling over. His battery powered motorcycle was just fine. We thought there was no rush and Jeremy didn't object so we let it be. By the time Chris arrived three years later, we were a little looser and not as neurotic (or so we thought) and Chris actually took off on the bike himself when he was ready rather than having us hold him back.
Earlier this year we knew Bailey had been accepted to the University of TN but we hadn't heard from any of Chris's choices yet. The locations he had in mind were nowhere near Tennessee.
I know it weighed heavy on him. It would be a tough struggle to make this work. I had my own thoughts on the distant relationship that was forthcoming and attempted to help as best I could. Keep in mind I thought I had a good solution for all of us...
Jeremy is already attending college in Massachusetts and being that the Boston area has direct flights just about everywhere, I tried convincing Chris that one of the MA colleges we visited was his best location. Why? Because I could get him on a direct flight to TN easier on a weekend than if he was, say in Plattsburgh. We would have more flexibility for him to hop a weekend flight or for Bailey to fly in. Also, keep in mind I had my own reasons for wanting the Boston area since that's where Jeremy is. I could visit them both in a weekend and they could commute home together on breaks. I thought I had figured it out for all of us! But something tells me that wasn't Chris's plan. I think he liked what I suggested but he was determined to go where he felt best. I believe it was SUNY Cortland from what I'm hearing from his friends with the runner up being University of New Hampshire. New Hampshire I could work with flights easier than Cortland... That location would be more like a three step process of car, train, plane to get to TN.
Being that now we don't have the opportunity to see how this would've played out, I get upset. We were so looking forward. It was such an exciting time. We spent so many hours on the applications and I was anxious for him to hit the send button on November 14th before the deadline. I hope I get all the acceptance letters still. I really want them to show up just as they would have, whether he got in or not.
I know Chris and Bailey were feeling heart sick at being apart. I never discussed it with Chris but I could feel his internal struggle. How in the world would they do it? Stay together across all those miles? They both worried but that was their plan, to continue dating long distance. I know he was worried for her to go but maybe he took come comfort in knowing they could talk, text, Skype, etc. It's not the same as being there but at least it's something. They hadn't see each other daily now anyway as they're at different high schools. Maybe they saw it as just further distance new schools? Kids are adaptable.
Well, I think Chris will be heading off to the University of TN alongside Bailey. Aren't they called the Volunteers?
I think he'd like to volunteer some time to watch over her and bring her strength as she heals and prepares for her freshman year. The good part about all this, as I see it, Chris can visit me too, and Jeremy and Mike... and of course the entire graduating class of 2013 at SHEN. Chris likes a good party. He'll be able to experience it all as he watches over his friends. I take some comfort in that.
I went to a diving fundraiser for Bailey yesterday which was a lot of fun. I never got to one of her meets this year, only saw video unfortunately but what a fun day. I told Dawn (Bailey's mom) that it was the best I have felt so far in two weeks. The USA Olympic swim team sent Bailey a box of Olympic clothing. What a surprise! Who would have ever thought she would get phone calls from two of them and all of these official clothes with a bathing suit signed by the entire team!!! I was overwhelmed with pride for Bailey. I sat there on the bleacher sobbing - feeling Chris flow thru me and knowing the depth of his love for her. Chris was right there beaming at his girlfriend. I know it in my heart.