Thursday, August 16, 2012

Moving Day

Hollywood has flown the nest. She moved into the dorms at the University of Iowa yesterday. Today is a weird day. I feel almost hung over - with sore muscles and a general emotionally drained and weary feeling. Here's how the day went.

I wanted to grab a photo of Hollywood and me together so I could update my facebook profile picture. After the queen of all eye-rolls, she agreed. So we posed for a photo together:


We planned to leave around 1 p.m., and people were coming over to say goodbye at 12:30, so in the morning we had some time to kill. Hollywood checked and rechecked her belongings, making sure she had everything. As she was digging through her stuff, she found the present I had stashed in her laundry basket full of stuff. It's just a dorky little drawing with a Thoreau quote, but the sentiment is so important. Go confidently in  the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined:


I hope she takes it to heart.

The day was charged with extra feeling. I was hyper sensitive of everything I said. I didn't want to accidentally say the wrong thing and have her remember that as she went on with her life. It was important to me that she knows I will miss her, but also that she knows I'm so happy for her, so proud of her, and so excited about her excitement right now.

The Husband was in his element yesterday. He and I went to college at Iowa State. Hollywood is going to school at the University of Iowa. They are, of course, bitter rivals. TH decided that he had to wear his brightest Iowa State Cyclones shirt on move in day. Hollywood protested, but he ignored her pleas to change his shirt. I have a feeling this will be the start of a war between them for years to come. (A good natured one, don't worry.)

Hollywood has been together with her boyfriend for the better part of three years, and is very close with his family. He is going to school at Iowa State (smart boy) so they will be apart for the first time. Moving day was yesterday for him too, so his family stopped by to say their goodbyes as they headed up to Ames.



Then it was time for Hollywood to say goodbye to her boyfriend. Aren't they cute in their matching cut up t-shirts?


After they left it was time for us to leave. We piled into the jeep, which isn't a six passenger vehicle, but we let Bumblebee sit in the back with all of Hollywood's stuff:


So I had been pretty good all morning and not even a single tear had escaped until we were all sitting in the jeep waiting for TH, who was taking an unusually long time in the house for some reason. I checked facebook on my phone while we waited, and saw this status message, posted by The Boy:


It made me cry. I passed my phone to Hollywood. It made her cry too. It's cheesy, I know, but as a parent there's something really special about seeing your kids be nice to each other.
We were finally en route to Iowa City when The Husband revealed the reason for his delay while we were all waiting. He had printed off a stack of Hawkeye jokes to read while in the car. You know, jokes like these:

How many University of Iowa freshman does it take to change a light bulb?
~None, it's a sophomore course.

What did the average Hawkeye player get on his ACT test?
It was all in good fun, and Hollywood was a great sport about it.

We arrived on campus and moved in her belongings. It was a pretty speedy process, actually, considering how many kids were moving in that day. Hollywood is in extended housing, which means that she won't have a permanent dorm room until one opens up. That can take 3-4 weeks. Until then, she will be sharing a room with seven other girls. It's not as bad as it sounds - the room is a lounge located at the end of one of the dorm floors and has huge windows overlooking the river.

We got into the room and The Boy and Bumblebee helped make Hollywood's bed. I had to snap a picture because, you guys... I didn't know that my children even knew how to make a bed! But really - that's cooperation!


Goblin loved crawling around and getting into things. Her favorite was to empty out the recycle bin. Here she is with her big sister - I think her face says it all. "What do you mean, we have to leave her here??"


The Husband kept up his joking by writing "Go Cyclones" on her message board:


Then, all too fast, it was time for us to leave.

I can't explain how that felt. Hollywood walked us out to the car and hugged each of us. The Husband got choked up and that was rough. She hugged The Boy and he gave her a crushing bear hug. He towers over her now, so that was definitely a sight to see. But then it was my turn. I hugged her with all my might and did my best not to turn into a sobbing mess.

I didn't succeed at that very well.

It was so hard to let her go. When we got home, it was tough to see her bedroom and know that she wasn't going to be sleeping there at night. But this isn't about being sad, although I will miss her fiercely. It's about being happy for her, and excited that she's off on this adventure in her life. We are so proud of our baby girl. She's going to rock her life.



Anonymous said...

I'm sobbing just reading this. My boys are so little still, but I know they will get big all too fast. Great job on raising one of our future leaders!!

Kirsten said...

This entire post is making me bawl like a baby! You are such a good mom and I always feel the love your family has for one-another come through in your posts and photos. Hollywood is going to do great--she's got such amazing support behind her!

Jenster said...

*sigh* I know all to well how you feel. It's so hard and yet you're so proud and yet it just hurts and yet there's so much joy...

I love the relationship you have with her. It's so very obvious that she loves you ever bit as much as you live her.

And what a dorm room! It looks great!

Taylor left for his third year of college and it was nothing like that first year. Still a little painful, but not heartbreaking. :)

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

I'm at the opposite end of the journey. Allison is doing her student teaching and graduating in December.

The first kid leaving is always the hardest.

Karibean said...

Aw, sounds like you had a great day! I have tears in my eyes just reading this and knowing that we'll be doing that before I know it. (But first, we have to make it through potty training!)

Sincerely, Jenni said...

Tears, tears, tears! :-( What a wonderful post, and I am sure she is going to do great things!

*sniffle* and I might have to come to you for advice when my daughter graduates soon!