Just one week until we move our son into his dorm at Baylor University.
Waco is a 14-hour drive or 2 1/2- 3 hours by flight (depending on where you fly into.)
I will never forget the conversation that Grant and I had when we were touring the campus during Spring Break 2019.
“Grant, don’t let my feelings of you being so far away impact your decision to come here,” I said with a quiver in my voice.
“It won’t.” he quickly responded.
I have to admit that hurt, but I know that what he said wasn’t said with the intent to hurt me.
While we could offer advice and support, the ultimate decision on where Grant would go would be his decision and not ours.
The Best College For Our Son
I knew the minute that Grant stepped onto the campus, that this was the school for him. I saw the look in his eyes and the smile on his face as he took everything in. I knew it was time to set aside the emotions of facing the beginnings of an empty nest and trust the Lord in His plans for Grant.
My husband, Craig, needed a little more time and a bit more convincing. He encouraged Grant to apply to the local university and a few others, to see what they would offer scholarship-wise.
Craig’s turning point occurred this past November during an invitation-only event the university was sponsoring. After listening to the opening speaker and sending Grant off with his group, my sweet husband, who never lets his emotions show, turned to me with tears in his eyes and said. “Grant needs to be here. He needs to be with like-minded people who have the same interests and academic strengths as he has.”
And while Craig’s words would have been enough to seal the deal, what he said next confirmed that he was 110% on board.
“I need to go to the bookstore and buy a hat.”
What many might not know about my husband is that he is pretty tight with his money. Spending $35 on a hat at the college bookstore is not something that he would typically do. He doesn’t even spend that much on a hat representing his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers!
Not a word was spoken about the hat between Grant and Craig when we joined back up later in the day. The smile on Grant’s face when he saw the hat confirmed that he knew that his Dad was in full support of him attending Baylor.
After our trip to Waco, things went back to normal as the usual busyness of the academic year kept us on our toes; that is until we were stopped dead in our tracks.
Mandated quarantine due to COVID-19 brought the fear of the unknown, unrest, and uncertainty.
It also brought time together as a family, peace and calmness, and emotional preparation in sending Grant off to college.
Three Ways the Quarantine Prepared Me For My Son Leaving for College
- A lot, and I mean a lot of extra time together! When the state of Illinois went into quarantine, it was a two-month stint. Traditionally, April and May are incredibly hectic for us, so with everything canceled, we spent some additional time together that we usually would not have. We watched movies, played cards, and enjoyed family meals together.
- We had some great one-on-one talks. Had this been an average year, we would have been so busy we would have passed one another coming and going. Instead, we were able to laugh and enjoy civil conversations together. Yes, there were some arguments, but he’s an 18-year-old, and I’m a mom, so it’s bound to happen!
- Grant’s maturity grew, as did his ability to handle the situation. Grant knew that everything was out of his control, and he accepted it and went with the flow. For instance, I desperately wanted him to have a traditional graduation ceremony. But it didn’t matter to Grant; he knew he would still be able to give his valedictorian speech in whatever way the school decided to have the ceremony. That was good enough for him, so it was good enough for me.
I know that I am going to be an emotional wreck next week, but Grant is ready for college. And I am ready for him to take the path that the Lord has chosen for him.
Thanks to the quarantine, our family has grown stronger, closer, and we made some great memories!