We went to Oregon over President’s Weekend and I haven’t written about it yet. I’m still a bit in denial about the motivation for our trip: College visits for my kids.
My son is a senior and my daughter is a junior. 18 months from now, they both could be at universities in another state. Namely, Oregon.
And this isn’t a punchline.
As difficult as their leaving is for Bill and me to digest, we knew we needed to visit UO and OSU because we’re responsible parents.
And also because we wanted to supplement our spring wardrobes.
I’m sure the schools had mothers in mind when they designed these.
Can’t wait for Parents Week!
The sky was overcast and rainy which we decided was perfect. It’s typical weather for Oregon this time of year and good for my California kids. Both of them think they’re tired of relentless sunshine. I think they’re crazy.
I also still think they’re this age.
All three of us might be in denial.
None of us is wearing a Ducks bikini.
Our first stop on Friday was Oregon State University in Corvallis. It was unbelievably charming, with moss-covered trees and stately buildings. Everyone we passed smiled at us. Everyone. After a wet tour during which our daughter fell in love with the campus, we went to lunch at an adorable pub.
Everyone smiled here too, except that guy in the booth across from us.
It was a happy, happy day.
Karly to us: I can totally see myself living here; it feels like home.
Next we traveled to Eugene and discovered more rain and continued smiling. Upon our arrival, the hotel concierge offered us complimentary wine and snacks. Bill to the concierge: I can totally see myself living here; it feels like home.
Our tour of UO the next morning was fantastic and featured yet another tree-filled campus with majestic buildings that reminded me of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. They reminded Bill of Animal House.
Apparently the movie was filmed here.
My son bought a green foam finger and let us take a selfie.
Jack to us: I can totally see myself being embarrassed here. It feels like home.
That night we enjoyed a fantastic dinner at a restaurant with high-backed dining chairs. The food was great and the company was even better. For me, the highlight of the weekend was all four of us being together.
A close second was the dessert Karly ordered with four brownies and a scoop of ice cream.
Me: I can totally see myself stalking the kids here; it feels like home
Just kidding. Probably.
As much as I can scarcely fathom both my children gone, my job is to raise them to spread their wings and find their own way in this world. It’s been my privilege to watch Jack and Karly be brave and embrace change.
I refuse to weigh them down with my tears. Much.
(I will, however, be sure they know there’s always room for Ducks and Beavers in our nest.)
I’ve been busy lately, which is a good distraction. After years of working and dreaming and hoping, my debut novel Letters for Scarlet and its prequel Guest List are being published. This is also hard to digest.
It’s been my job to write these books and send them off to find their own way in this world. My babies and my books. What a privilege.
My heart can barely take it. In fact I’m not processing the whole truth. Not just yet.
Speaking of which, my sister took care of Bella, Bailey and Scout for us while we were in Oregon.
Nancy to the dogs: I can totally feed you chips; it’s just like mommy’s home.
Our 10-year-old Labrador is overwhelmed whenever we encounter a horse on our walks. Bella doesn’t bark or cower; she simply keeps her head twisted to the side refusing to acknowledge the horse at all.
Bella to herself: If you can’t see the horse, the horse doesn’t exist. Also, Fritos don’t suck.
These days, I’m channeling my inner-Bella. If I look at the horse, I’ll be overwhelmed; so I take one day at a time, each milestone as it comes. Remember that promise not to weigh my kids down with tears? Yeah. I meant it. Probably.
So prepared or not, I’ll have to let my book fly soon. Then my babies. One by one.
Me to the world: Be gentle with them.
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I won’t hit your inbox more than once a month unless something REALLY major happens. Like I do return to college or buy a horse.
I’ll love you forever and like you for always. But I won’t climb a ladder into the window of my grown son’s dorm room. Much.