A little over a month ago, I moved my daughter into her freshman dorm. We packed up about two-thirds of her bedroom, bought way too many Command strips, a new bedding set complete with a comfy foam mattress top, the Keurig coffee machine, and other must-haves, and sent her off into the real world.
Nowadays, when I meet up with friends or family, they ask two questions: How’s Jenna doing? and “How are you doing?
In my head, each time they sound like Joey from Friends: How You Doin?
So, here’s how I’m doin’.
It’s a new normal in my house. In the beginning, it felt like a loss–although I would never dream of comparing myself to someone who has actually lost a child. Still, after 18 years of taking care of someone’s physical and emotional well being with all of my time and energy, heart and soul, I feel a part of me is missing.
She also picked up around the house, served as our extra driver to take our son places, gave spot-on fashion advice, and applied my makeup expertly. My version of a smoky eye looks like I’m hungover. So, from a practical standpoint, I miss all of that too.
She’s also exactly where she should be. Her school is precisely what she was looking for all along. It gives me incredible joy to see her thriving on her own. She loves to FaceTime with us and see our dog Chloe, who I think she misses most of all.
(Also part of my new normal is getting used to FaceTime. I hate how I look in that tiny camera).
Back at home, I get to spend quality time with our son, Andrew. I don’t write about him as often, and I’m not sure why. We went out to lunch the other day after Rosh Hashanah services, where he told me all about his water polo team and his favorite classes. In his spare time, he is on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout, and he will learn how to drive soon. He’s such a fantastic kid–a mensch. It is an exciting time in his life, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it. But, in the back of my mind, I know that soon enough, he will be going off to college too.
When that day finally comes in the fall of 2022, please ask me how I’m doin’.