Leave at nine in the morning.
Drive 160 miles.
Sing together in the car.
Enjoy deep conversations about Physics and Hippies, Television and God.
Wait an hour in a line that barely moves to finally pull into the parking lot behind his dorm.
So many parents, so many kids.
Unload all his stuff.
Move the van to make room for the next one.
Walk three blocks back to his dorm, thinking,
He will walk here.
He will see this.
He will know this place and call it home.
Help him put together the futon and desk chair.
Help him figure out how to organize the many many things he has in the small space.
Sneak the letter under his pillow.
Wonder how he will do, sharing a room for the first time.
It's 3:30 already.
Take him to Walmart for the things he still needs.
Stop at a Friday's and eat.
Drive back to the dorm
Fewer cars in the lot
Empty boxes, parents crying and hugging and looking back over their shoulders...
Help him unload the newly bought items and carry them to his room.
Not a bad room... it's right at the top of only one flight of stairs.
The awkward pause.
This is it.
The hug and kiss "I love you" and "Call me"
"I'll walk you out"
One more hug downstairs
Turn towards the van.
Unlock the van
Now the hardest part...
Drive away and leave him there.
I should have brought tissues for the drive home. I never needed such things in the past...
This whole business of "feeling things" is not all fun and games.