Not me, not so much. Not right now.
I mentioned that a student of mine is starting college this year, and I find myself kind of jealous. It hurts to admit it, but I am envious of all the new that is going to assault her in the next few days–all the new I can never get back.
I’ll never be able to recapture the excitement she felt when she saw the inside of her dorm room for the first time, or the way she felt when she told her parents good bye after she finished unpacking. I won’t be there on her first day of classes (although technically, I will) to feel the mingling fear and stress and hopefulness when her teacher hands out the class syllabus. I can’t be there while she experiences the sticker shock*** of the university bookstore while dutifully handing over her credit card.
I can’t be there again.
I can only be here.
I can only be nearly eight (real) years older, and decades ahead in experience. I can tell her that she will be disappointed with herself at some point. She will fail, but that’s okay. She will be outrageously happy, and then ridiculously depressed, all in the same breath. She will be homesick. She will be sick of her home. She will rebel, she will conform. She will learn.
I can stand on the sidelines and give her advice and encouragement. I can be her cheerleader, and hopefully, a shoulder to cry on when things get rough.
Don’t worry honey, I will say. I’ve been right where you are, and I lived through it. Would you like to see my scars?
But then in my jealousy, I can look at this.
I have Boo. Hope, with a big capital H. And he will go through all these same emotions, and I will be able to tell him not to worry. Mommy knows, baby.
***Oh, and thank you, University Bookstore, for anally fisting me $130 for ONE EFFING BOOK. One USED book. I will not miss you when I graduate, not at all. You can go to hell in a superbly decorated handbasket for all I care. (Dis)Respectfully yours, Chelsie.