We dropped our eldest daughter off at Villanova University this week. She's now doing her freshman orientation and we are reorienting ourselves to a house with only one teen daughter.
The drop-off was a two day affair. We moved her into the dorm on Wednesday and came back Thursday for welcome events, meetings with advisors and other activities.
When we arrived, we were greeted by a "Welcome Class of 2014" painted onto a grassy hillside. And we had two hours to admire it as we waited in one of about six long lines of cars for our turn dropping all of her stuff at the dorm.
Freshmen at Villanova mostly live in a group of dorms at the south end of campus. There are more than 1,600 in the class of 2014 and logistically, move-in day was quite a challenge. I think the school handled it well and the cadre of students on hand to direct traffic, check us in, and help schlep all the kids' stuff into the dorms did great work. But it was a long, tiring day.
The second day we did some dorm-room fine-tuning and heard welcome speeches from various levels of university administration. We navigated the bookstore hurricane together and eventually hugged our daughter goodbye so she could start the next chapter of her adventure.
I have to admit that I am jealous. I have been throughout the process of visiting schools, applying and choosing one. Our daughter's next four years look exciting and fun.
The whole thing has had be thinking back 30 years to when I started school. I remember my first day in Foss Hall, at Colby College. I looked into a neighboring room and saw a large, bearded fellow drinking a beer and reading a comic book. He looked up reached out a fresh can of beer to me. That's when I knew I would be happy there.
That was Mark d'Entremont. He welcomed me into his group of friends and has been a pal ever since. I don't expect my daughter to find a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon anytime soon; it's not that sort of a school and times have changed. But I hope she finds her own d'Entrement, a Todd, a Katy, and a Laurellie.
I hope she finds the sort of friends I was blessed with. Friends to stretch her, challenge her and help her become the amazing young lady I have seen deep inside.