Reflections of a Mom Sitting In Her Daughter’s College Dorm
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I am sitting here in Jeannie’s dorm room while the rest of the family attended her meeting and orientation. I made her bed. I put away her clothes and toiletries. I arranged all 5000 of her dragons, knick knacks and school supplies. I am trying hard to memorize every inch of the room so that I know exactly what she is referring to when we speak on the phone. I know I will be able to say, ‘Your socks are in the first drawer’, or ‘Your spare glasses are in your toiletry box’.
I am sitting in her new home and I feel happy for her. For the first time in this craziness, I am allowing happiness into the mix. Sure, fear, apprehension and a healthy dollop of incredulity were already in the batter but happiness was not there. I am excited for her. I am so proud of her. However, I did not allow happiness to bubble up in this jacuzzi of emotions. But now, I can see that my kid is getting to do what I never did. Now I can see that my kid is already on the road to a world of opportunities I was not afforded. This, makes me happy!
I know. I have been told a million times that Paul and I did a great job with her. Reflecting on a discussion I had almost 18 years ago to the day when the neurologist gave us the diagnosis of Septo Optic dysplasia, I found it hard to envision a day like this. After being told that she would be blind, mentally retarded and probably would not live to see her second birthday, I rarely allowed myself the luxury of expectations. However, here we are. I remember Paul’s reaction to the diagnosis. He became furious. I remember him saying, ‘Fuck them! They don’t know Jeannie. She’ll show them all! She will be fine.’
Little did we know that what we are really good at raising stubborn kids. Jeannie is so stubborn her new mascot suits her perfectly. Jeannie is a Ram! She has rammed through her life and never allowed her disabilities or otherbilities to slow her down. She is a force of nature and has never permitted anyone to label her as broken.
I know she will be fine. In my heart, I have always known that. I guess I just wanted to play Mommy a little longer. It is my duty to worry and fuss. She will do well and be successful because that is what Jeannie does. I am proud of my little girl. But most importantly, I am happy for her.