so what was i doing all summer...

besides blogging? 

nothing important. or maybe things more important. 

it was millie's last summer home. i know that she will be "home" again next summer (well, i am fairly sure.) but i also remember feeling like my "home" wasn't truly my home anymore once i entered college. my life was at college. home was a respite. relaxing. wonderful. but not where my LIFE was happening.  

so i wanted to soak up our last summer. 

iris krasnow wrote a beautiful book "surrendering to motherhood"  which i read when my children were little. but it is still valid now that they are teenagers. 

When you surrender to that fact then real balance comes, of having your soul and mind and heart in sync. Most accomplished women can go back to rebuilding careers as our kids grow up. We can never go back to the fleeting moment that constitutes our children's childhood. We only get one chance to get it right. And doing it right takes a lot of time. How we choose to spend our time is ultimately our greatest power as human beings.

i can never get her last summer at home back. and i wanted to choose to be with her. not sitting at my computer writing and editing and finding the perfect photo to sum up what i was feeling. i just wanted to feel things without thinking "i should blog about this." 

i was also doing a lot of packing. 

someone sent me this list (which was a good/bad thing. good because it is a GREAT list. bad because i am an over packer and felt like we had to have EVERYthing on that list.) 

The Most Outrageously Thorough, Ridicously Detailed College Shopping List You Will Ever See 

and so i procured almost every item on that list. and maybe some that weren't. we set up a packing room in the living room... complete with stations for different categories of items. and lists. oh, the lists... 


and if those stations where indications of where this was heading... well, even though we have a suburban it wasn't going to be enough room...


and if you don't believe that i went overboard on the packing. take this example... the kcups i purchased for her coffee/tea/chai/hot chocolate needs (her roommate has one of those kuerig one cup at a time machines.) 


truth be told... she did have a lot of bed, bath, and beyond gift cards to use for those kcup purchases. and all the different flavors looked so exciting and delicious.  

during this whole packing process (the entire summer) i went to lunch one day with my dad and i asked him about packing me for college. because I DON'T REMEMBER PACKING ANYTHING FOR COLLEGE. i thought my failing memory might be triggered whilst millie and i were packing and checking items off a list. but NOPE. not a twinge of a memory.  and i don't remember needing ANYthing or lacking for any items once at college. maybe i was on heavy drugs all that summer that wiped away my memories of packing... or maybe there was another explanation...

my dad smiled and said simply, "you didn't pack anything for college. your mom did it all for you." 

then he added, "you went to europe for a month. and hung out with your friends a lot that summer." 

i did remind him that i did have a JOB that summer too. in one of his offices. so i am sure my hours weren't the strictest.... 

so there was my answer. my mom packed everything. i do remember doing some shopping with her and her saying, "oh, this dress is just what a college girl needs!" so i did some of that with millie. during our trips to nashville and through atlanta (including TWO ikea visits. one to look and take notes and one for procurement of items.)  

i hope that millie remembers packing with me. that we checked items off of a list LIKE A BOSS. that we laughed a lot. that i never cried. though i wanted to cry a lot. that i kept reminding her EVERY time she asked me if i was sure she would make friends... if i was sure that she was going to be okay... that EVERY time i told her that she would make GREAT friends. that she was a GREAT person to be friends with. and that i KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would be better than OKAY. and that on her way to better than okay that she would have plenty of caffeine and kcups. 

she may not remember. and it may be 28 ( give or take a couple of) years from now when she is packing up someone for college that she finally understands and appreciates the summer before she left for college through a mother's eyes. i am only sad that my mom wasn't here to finally get the thank you she so richly deserves...