Today I bring my daughter back to college. Whatever knowledge she acquired during her first semester has no doubt worn off by now. Besides, I was growing a little weary of those “I’m eighteen years old and you can’t tell me what to do can you drive me to my friend’s house?” arguments.
The month she was home went by quickly, as many pandemics seem to do. There were so many fun times, although none of them actually involved the two of us. She retrieved her grades, which were a mild disappointment to anyone actually betting on her failing out. Still, mathematically speaking, she will have to earn a 16.2 GPA this coming semester to have her overall cumm soar into mediocrity. I told her that I believe she is capable of achieving GREATNESS, as long as she doesn’t let her attempt to get an education stand in her way.
The ride back up to school will be poignant. A tear will likely be shed, albeit mostly due to the mold levels in her college town. “Someone can breed penicillin up here with just an air sample,” I once told her. “What’s penicillin?” she asked. Perhaps I just should have created a bonfire with her tuition money.
But once we get back to the dorms, her roommates and other assorted friends will rush to see her, spinning tales of tattoos and piercings and academic probation. Yes, there will be a lot of catching up to do. They’ll run back to their rooms, giggling, leaving me alone by the car with her duffel bags of clean laundry and tubs of extra-fatty snack foods. Perhaps she will remember to come back and get them. Perhaps I will shrug my shoulders and merely offer them to the first hobo who passes by.
Either way, I will drive back home with one less child in my day-to-day life, and I think I’m OK with that. And by “OK” I mean deliriously happy almost to the point of losing my mind. What can I say? I’m just an old softie.