29 November 2010

Of Thanksgiving and Change

Before I knew it, Thanksgiving was here and gone. It actually arrived a bit earlier than I expected this year. For some reason, I thought I had another week to fret about my dinner plan when my aunt called and asked what she should bring. For what? I asked. Oh...THAT dinner!

Our daughter arrived home a couple of days before Thanksgiving, after three months of being over eight hours away from home. She had a lot to do in the short time she was home: hang out with old friends, Skype with new ones, suffer through a backpack full of homework, and prepare for her piano test. We managed to squeeze in that Thanksgiving dinner and a bit of time with family, but the days passed very quickly and soon it was time to head back to IU.

As we drove into Bloomington, we could see that the downtown area and many of the buildings on campus had been decorated for Christmas. Trees twinkled with white lights and evergreen boughs hung elegantly from lamp posts near the music buildings. Colorful Christmas lights and festive trees could be seen in dorm room windows. The atmosphere on her floor was full of excitement as everyone returned from break. We dropped off her bags and gave her a quick hug, then we were gone.

Later as I sat at Starbucks, I couldn't help but think about the transitions that have taken place over the past year. Each time I've visited IU it has been a different season -- the warm days of summer, the intensely colorful autumn, and now the chilly winter. And at each visit, the campus looks somehow new and different. Each season has also marked a change in our daughter. She has gone from being terrified of the prospect of being so far from home to thinking of the people she now lives with as her family...and from fearing she'd be homesick for home to actually being homesick for IU.

As I finished my coffee, I remembered sitting on our daughter's bed with her the day before we took her to college, talking with her about change -- something that has always been difficult for both of us. "But I don't WANT to change," she sobbed. "College WILL change you," I told her, remembering my own college years. "It will change how you think and how you see the world. It will force you to grow in ways you can't even begin to imagine now. That kind of change is ALWAYS a good thing."

As a mom, I can now see that very transformation happening right before my eyes. It's one of the things I'm most thankful for this holiday season.

I think she would agree.


Kristina said...

Great post! I'll bet it's satisfying to see her grow into the adult that you hope she would. Sounds like you and your DH did a great job.

Janet said...

Thank you, Kristina! It's a very exciting time in life, that's for sure. Enjoy these years with your son! You'll soon be where I am! :)

Maureen said...

Beautiful Janet! She's a lucky girl to have a Mom like you.

Janet said...

Aw, Maureen... Thank you.

Fonda said...

I see scrapbook pages coming!
Glad things are turning out well.

Heather said...

Wonderful post Janet. And what you told Bailey is so true. And it's not something that can be understood until it's experienced. I'm so glad to read that she is doing so well and having such a great time. And it seems that you are doing well and adjusting too!

Janet said...

Thank you, Heather! :) That's exactly what she told me the other day...it's not something that can be understood until you experience it. I'm so grateful for everyone's support!