As I write, I’m listening to one of my favorite David Gray songs on my little purple iPod, and the title seems to be the perfect headline for today’s post about taking Ian to college last Thursday with Chris.

Yes,  I cried, but only at the very end of the day….and only when I looked at Chris.  We had both hugged Ian in his dorm room, and turned to go out the door..and then I looked at my husband’s face.  All our years of courtship, marriage, infertility treatments, pregnancy, childbirth and childrearing are written on his visage, as they are on mine.  Locking eyes with Chris, I began to sob.  

It was a selfish cry on my part.  Because we will no longer have Ian with us in the house….but also a happy cry…because he will be with other kids his age, living and breathing art around the clock.  His dorm suite is fantastic.  His RA is friendly - and from our hometown!  His roommates are great.  Without comparing notes ahead of time, because they are boys, they all still managed to bring compatible items.

Maryland Institute College of Art  is amazing.  It was all overwhelming, in the best possible way.  There was a wonderful orientation for the parents.  The provost, in particular, impressed us with his speech.  He said ‘Your son or daughter is used to being the art kid -  the art star – at his or her high school.   At MICA, your child will be one of many art stars.  Don’t worry, your son or daughter would not have been admitted if he or she did not measure up to our standards.  They are ALL talented.”  He added, “That said, each will be doing much experimental work here.  In December, when you are reviewing their work, please suppress the impulse to say…”what the HECK!?” 

Repeatedly, we were reminded that 5:30 was the appointed time to “say goodbye and attend the parent reception before leaving campus.” 

And so we drove back home, just the two of us, and settled into a routine with Hugh and Malcolm.  We all miss Ian, but as my grandmother said years ago when her first grader asked “Mama, do you miss me when I’m at school?”… “Yes, but it’s a NICE miss.”

The natural order of things has occurred.  We need merely to adapt.

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