I’m getting ready to do some traveling. E and I leave Thursday for Freshman Orientation. We are starting the daunting task of getting her new college abode furnished. Fortunately, these “dorms” are furnished with actual furniture, but she still has to have all of the other accoutrements that other college kids have to have (except maybe those poor souls who actually have to schlep it in one room and a community bath – like I did!). I am part of that esteemed group of glassy-eyed parents following bubbly teens through Target, Walmart and Bed Bath and Beyond, no longer looking at price tags, but numbly handing over the debit card at yet another register! All kidding (sort of) aside, it’s pretty exciting, and amazing to think that she will be an official college student in less than a month!

After I return from orientation, I fly out a couple of days later to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to pack up a pickup, rental car and horse trailer, to move M to her new school. She’s really excited about this change and has a great apartment already rented, where she will live with her best friend A. I haven’t seen her since spring break, so I’m really looking forward to the one-on-one…even if it means a lot of bending, lifting and sweating and the inevitable return to the aforementioned stores for a further plastic workout.

I’ll be home another week and a half, then it’s back to E’s school to actually move her in! Weird, all the change happening, but I’ve been preparing for it all year. I finally think I’m ready. Not that I won’t miss E like I have M, or find my house extraordinarily quiet, but it’s the way things are supposed to go. They are supposed to be ready to go out on their own, and I’m so happy that they are! They have dreams and lives set out before them, stories waiting to be written…I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds!

And that’s worth any amount of money or number of hours spent as a Walmart shopper.