My oldest daughter graduated from high school two weeks ago. In spite of a less-than-ideal weather forecast, the commencement ceremony took place outdoors as planned, and while the light rain that fell was not enough to make all of us seated in the bleachers truly miserable, it was just enough for most of the speeches to be cut short. Not necessarily a bad thing.
I was having mixed feelings about it all, of course. I’m proud of my daughter, obviously, and happy that she’ll be forging ahead into all kinds of new adventures. But as the mom who, four years ago during parent orientation at the high school, sat in a dark back corner of the auditorium wiping away tears in anticipation of this very event, it was also a difficult day.
The same goes for last Tuesday when I took a day trip with my graduate to the college she will be attending this fall. She was there to spend the day taking placement exams and registering for her first semester classes, but when we arrived on campus that morning, it took nearly all the willpower I could muster not to toss my child into the trunk of my car and take her back home immediately. Fortunately, she seems to find my copious need for tissues more amusing than annoying. I think we’re both a little surprised at just how emotional this process is turning out to be.
Before we hit the road that morning, my husband, who is very organized when it comes to all things travel related, kindly printed out directions and a map to the college for me, and had marked the map with notes: “Turn left and then a quick right.” “Don’t miss this exit or you’ll end up on the road to nowhere!” and (with an arrow) “DQ® here.”
That last one was especially helpful. Because while I’m not normally one to advocate self-medicating through soft serve, desperate times call for desperate measures. And in this case, desperate measures equal a Banana Cream Pie Blizzard® Treat.
As it turns out, there are a quite few DQ locations between home and my daughter’s new school. I noticed several of the familiar ellipse signs along the way, which is very reassuring. I have a feeling that in a couple of months, when I make that first return trip home without her, I’m going to need every one of them.