Forget the pillow-pack the Purell


My eldest child is about to go off to college this week, and I’m inching towards the date like I’m about to walk off a cliff – alternately excited for him, joking that I’ll appreciate a neater house, and secretly crying into the dishtowels.

So many memories are flooding my brain – like his first day of kindergarten, when I enthusiastically put him on the bus, dashed to my car, raced to school, and hid in the bushes, crying, as I watched him get off the bus and safely into the building.  Really.  I think of my mother, who cheerfully put me on a plane at Logan Airport, and now is gone, and can’t be asked what it was really like.  Will I say a peppy goodbye? Will I embarrass him and myself by sobbing into his shoulder (seven inches above mine)?

 I recently read a blog post called “All the Wrong Things To Say at College Drop Off” (from Flown and Grown) that captured my fears – I could see myself using those last precious minutes to “sputter advice at him like someone who has five minutes to blow up 50 balloons.”  Don’t forget to Purell!  Change your toothbrush when it’s splayed! Change your sheets every week!  I laughed through my tears as I read the post, and it has stuck with me this summer.  I’m sure he’ll be fine.  I’m reminded of the woman standing next to my parents all those years ago at Logan, fretting that the school might not provide pillows, and she hadn’t packed one.  My mother turned to her and said, “if your daughter can’t figure out how to buy a pillow at college, that’s the least of your problems.”  Still, I’m packing the Purell.


One Comment to “Forget the pillow-pack the Purell”

  1. Hi Jenny,

    Oh my! I started to write you the day after I got this but now almost a month has passed! Just wanted to say it was fun to read and was very touching at the same time. The next time if you are crying into the dishtowels, think of the fact that if I were there I would give you a BIG hug! LOL. I especially loved the quote of your mother which I’m sure any anonymous person would find amusing, but in our case I’m sure that you as you were writing it as I when reading it heard Ellie’s unique sardonic deadpan voice speaking those words!

    Thank you Jenny! 🙂 And by the way; what’s the word from Trainer? Give our love to Isabel too!

    Much love,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: