A child arrived just the other day…
The first day of school is always a big day. From the first day of Kindergarten, complete with the adorable “big-boy” backpack stocked with markers, pencils, and glue sticks, all the way up to dropping them off at college for the first time, when the back packs and duffels now contain CDs and laptops; there’s no denying that each new school year heralds change; some more than others.
Back in the day, to wax generationally nostalgic, the natural progression after college graduation was to move on. Often it meant a job; other times it was graduate or professional school. Either way, the expectation was that the next step included moving out on one’s own, including the attainment of financial independence. I understand that times have changed, and I am deeply sympathetic to the fact that it is not the fault of our children that they are coming of age in the worst economy in a century. Therefore I do not judge those who boomerang back home, or who take more than the traditionally allotted four years to complete that initial degree. I actually have one of each in those categories.
Still, there are still those who manage to complete their degree — or degrees — in four years, and who then move on to situations where they are able to support themselves while pursuing the highest levels of higher education. And who move to cities 1600 miles away from where they were spawned to do so!
The car was packed in the first dictionary definition of the word, with enough room for the Shotgun’s bag only because it was squishy, able to be mushed between crates, and pretty small to start with. A proffered package of marshmallows was refused on the ground that there wasn’t enough room. He had returned the EZ Pass to us (“It won’t work in Texas anyway”) and taken himself off our cell phone plan, porting his number to a different carrier after carefully researching options. The new apartment had electricity, telephone, internet, and water service lined up, again after exhaustive research. (Whatever did we do before we had the internet?) The trip was planned down to the hour; the maps were marked; en route diversions lined up. All that remained were the final bathroom visits, and they were off.
It was an enjoyable adventure, chronicled on Facebook, albeit sparsely. Excellent time was made, thanks to storms which deleted a planned break but which resulted in an early NOLA arrival, which I was eventually told included a visit to a casino. The destination was achieved. The temporary host’s accommodations were as advised (the floor was carpeted; there was beer in the fridge).
Possession of the apartment was taken. Furniture, already selected, was purchased; delivery was arranged. Other miscellany (food; TV stand; beer) was acquired. The new computer system was unpacked and assembled. Delivery of the furniture was taken and assembly commenced, hampered only by the fact that there was only one philips head screwdriver. The pile of cardboard grew to an impressive height.
Finally the Shotgun/big brother/confidant was delivered to the airport for his one way flight home, and the NinjaBaker was on his own at last.
Today he begins his next, likely final, set of classes. Assigned en masse, he commented that this was the first time since 6th grade that he has had no input into his class selection. Research will begin soon enough. Five years from now, maybe six or more, there will be yet another doctor in the family. In the meantime, his program functions as a full time job. He is supporting himself; he is off the payroll.
It is official: we have launch.
Godspeed, my baby.