Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Pool of Tears

We are quickly approaching a milestone. Our Daughter will graduate from high school in 2015 and head off to college.

That sounds like we still have plenty of time, and from her perspective 16 months might seem like an eternity, but to her parents it will seem like the blink of an eye. I know this because the past 16 years seem to have gone by just as quickly.

Ever the advance planner, earlier this week My Lovely Wife took Our Daughter with our twin sons in tow on her second official college tour. The four of them spent the better part of the afternoon roaming the grounds of UNC Greensboro in an effort to determine whether the campus is suitable for a determined student who wants to accomplish a concentration in pre-dental studies. The tour went well and UNCG now ranks high on the list of possibilities.

As we discuss different schools, comparing and contrasting their highs and lows, I think I am spotting a peculiar trend beginning to take root.

For those who believe they know My Lovely Wife well, they might be surprised to find she is much more emotional than she appears on the surface. More often than not she is a model of obsessive-compulsive efficiency. Yet beneath that uber-organized exterior is a mushy, squishy core that melts easily under the right circumstances. Turns out that preparing to send your first-born to college is one of those circumstances.

Her lower lip trembled several times during the recap of their tour of UNCG. This morning at the breakfast table the lip started again and conversation paused twice while she fought back the urge to weep openly in her Cheerios. Even a passing conversation during a laundry-folding session about the benefits of the college's study abroad program culminated in the need for a reassuring hug.

Need I remind you the child is only halfway through her junior year of high school? What this means is that I am looking ahead to more than a year of separation anxiety bubbling to the surface without notice during the most mundane activities.

Gassing up her car?
We're going to gas up her car only fifty-seven more times before she leaves for college... (Sniffle, sniffle.)

Setting out breakfast?
We're going to set out breakfast only five-hundred-and-forty more times before she leaves for college... (Whimper, snort.)

Folding socks?
We're going to fold her socks only one-thousand-two-hundred-and-twenty-seven more times before she leaves for college... (Uncontrolled sobbing.)

Not that I'm immune to this condition. I'm just as mushy and squishy, if not more so. Besides, all it takes to make me cry is to place me in close proximity to someone else who's already crying.

Between the two of us, My Lovely Wife and I better stock up on discount tissues at Aldi.

© 2014 Mark Feggeler

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