A snapshot of parenting a college student.
Wake up 7:30. The Teenager is leaving for her Spring semester of her sophomore year of college. Walk dog. Return to find The Teenager calling a Lyft. Walk with her downstairs, wait for Lyft with her, ramble about the things that need to get done. Hug her goodbye. Ready myself for my day. Ready myself for the empty apartment I return to. Parenting is required, even with her returning to her independent lift in another city. What is login in info? What do you think of this joke? Even as I meander down the aisles at Whole Foods, shopping for one instead of the family, parenting is required but also, welcome. I miss her as I type the answers she needs. I miss her as I unpack the groceries. I miss her as I lay on the couch, close my eyes, waking up in darkness. Parenting includes the ache, the transition you make as an adult who has cared and raised and continues to care for your child to the adult who cooks for one. Winding down is difficult even for Rocky, my dog. Even he is aware that after a month of The Teenager being home, she’s not here and he is disoriented. He is restless. He jumps on the couch. He jumps off the couch. He goes into The Teenager’s room. I hear the patter of his paws on the floor of her bedroom, pacing, sniffing, most likely wondering where she is. He can’t sleep. I wonder if he has diarrhea and at midnight, I walk him again, only to discover, no, his plumbing is in working order; it’s his heart that’s thrown off. Even as I turn off all the lights in the apartment, my bed illuminated only by moonlight, he moves from one side of my bed to the other, he jumps off the bed, and again, wanders into her bedroom, almost pacing in circles. I close the door to her room, sealing him off, hoping he will give up, but he doesn’t, he can’t seem to settle. I’m exhausted, but I need to help this little potato, this process of calming down of my little buddy, its weight on him, it’s a gravity too. Grateful to him, for helping me transition on what is always a tough day, grateful that his own separation anxiety pulls me out of my ache, if only for a spell, my natural need to nurture its own distraction. The Teenager sends a text, a good night text, and I tell her that I packed two apples in her bag, knowing that even at this late hour, way past 1am, she has yet to unpack and she LOL’s me. Parenting from afar is still parenting, and I fall asleep, the metronome of my dog’s snoring finally in rhythm.
Tina Fey, Oprah and Mary Tyler Moore.
Rosie Perez: “My high was the clubs, and everybody there danced intensely. If you wanted to get in the circle, if you dared get in the circle, you better get with it. That was hip-hop.”
Ayanna Pressley: “I am making peace with having alopecia. I’m making progress every day.”
Leslie Jones: “I am at the age when I will get off the boat and get on another damn boat.”
If you’re a fan of Sia’s, well then, she’s got a song for you.
Hey, the Women’s March is happening. You going?
Get your flu shot.
On the HPV shot.
And now have a laugh with Leslie Jones.