(the title is referring to Steven Curtis Chapman's song - Cinderella)
It's been a week since we dropped Pris off at college and I think I have pulled it together enough to write about it now. The weekend was rough for me, then it was better Monday and Tuesday. On Saturday when I was in tears, Annalise came and hugged me and said, "I don't want to start crying again because I'll never stop." That didn't help. Wednesday evening I was a little sad again because she wasn't here to ride up to our women's Bible Study. But I'm adjusting. It was weird at first because it felt a little like grief. I felt embarrassed to say that or to even feel it. I have felt grief before and I knew I had no logical reason for feeling it now. She's not even very far away and she's in a great place. People try to reassure me with telling me what a great head she has on her shoulders and how she'll be fine. It's really not that. I'm not worried about her. I know I'll just miss her being here every night. But mamas have to grow up too.
We took her up Friday at lunch time. When we arrived there was a team of students outside each dorm, waiting to help the freshmen move in. We pulled up and within seconds everything was unloaded and carried up to her room. She found out later than the group had been going over the list of names when they saw hers and because they liked the way it sounded they were repeating it over and over. That explained why a girl had later said that she had heard Priscilla's name about 100 times that day!
When we got up to her room, her roommate was already there and had the room all arranged nicely. Kezzi, Hope, Annalise and I got her all unpacked and settled into her room within an hour or so then we went to lunch at the cafeteria. After that we went around taking care of business like getting a mailbox, a parking permit and books. Then the students met their orientation teams on the lawn while the parents had a meeting in the chapel. I couldn't have been more pleased with the meeting. My favorite part was when they opened up the microphones for the parents to pray for the students. I was moved to tears to hear so many fathers and then a few mothers pray out loud for their students first year. It really was beautiful.
We had dinner and then Ford and the boys met us up there for the parent/student meeting. That meeting was awesome too. Great messages from the president of the college, his wife, the dean of students and others. They had a panel of professors on stage in a question/answer format. All of them were characters! And I loved the things they had to say. They were asked what mistakes they made in their college days and what advice they had to pass on. They got talking about putting too much emphasis on the grades and advised the students to care more about actually learning and growing. They had a lot of great things to say.
Next we hung around on the lawn where they were serving ice cream. They had various tables set up according to majors with upperclassmen there to answer any questions. Since we were going home for the night and coming back in the morning for more parent/student meetings, we decided to not bring our kids back the following day. It was just not worth them getting up early enough to leave the house by 7am so they said goodbye there. Annalise especially broke my heart as she held onto Pris for some time. She sobbed all the way to the car.
The next morning we went back up, Ford, Kezzi and I. We had a lovely time of worship and more great speakers. I was particularly impressed with the standard of conduct. They simply expect them to live up to their Christian faith but without all kinds of specific rules. They said the dress code was "modesty" and admonished the girls to care about the Christian brothers. They told them to get in the habit of checking with other girls in the dorm to find out if a particular outfit is ok and to hold each other accountable. (I have marveled every time I've been up there at the girls clothing - for the most part it's been pretty modest.) The dean of students also went into detail about the internet access and how there were blocks in place but if attempts were made to go to unwholesome sites, they would be flagged and talked to. They went on to explain why and because they cared about their lives and their future, they would intervene. Other policies were covered and again, I was very pleased with everything. After a quick lunch, we said goodbye too.
We've talked to her several times (Yes, I know it's only been a week and I haven't been pestering her. I've waited for her to call us. ) and it sounds like she's having a ball. She's loving meeting all the new people and especially playing ultimate frisbee with the ultimate frisbee club. She called me last night after a more than three hour game! Today was the first day of classes. I'm so thrilled that she is going to have the opportunity to learn from some really great men and women and have the opportunity to meet some fine young people too.
We are going up to pay tuition and visit with her tomorrow afternoon. She wants us to take her off of campus so she can visit with us and not be distracted by all of the people she's meeting. She doesn't have to twist my arm to take her away and keep her all to ourselves!