I have given birth to two boys! They were the longest labors and deliveries known to mankind — ..eighteen years! My first son has already resided in a high-rise “incubator” on a college campus with other “newborns,” and my other son was “launched off” two years ago. The fetal monitoring system (otherwise known as parenting) will take on an entirely new persona.
This is the point of labor where our college- aged kids are all freshly born into the most exciting period of their lives — ..only if, that is — .they and their parents can survive “college move-in day chaos.”
I know that many of you are in the throes of birthing your 18 year old babies this time of year and can identify. Move-in day is in no way the false contractions of Braxton-Hicks. It is real'”an intense form of labor in the most physical and emotional sense imaginable.
There are a multitude of emotions swarming around the dorms. There is an eager sense of anticipation as our kids feel their way around their new exciting surroundings. At the other end of the spectrum, there are a multitude of hot, sweaty moms and dads. You can see the physical pains of childbirth, as the parents “labor” over moving load after load to usher their “babes” into a brand new environment.
I remember thinking, as I made my way through the jam packed hallway with very little dilation — . just breathe — breathe — .breathe —
There was an hour wait just to get on the elevator. I’ve never seen so many appliance-laden dolleys — push — push — .push — hmmmm — ..where are those epidurals when you really need them the most?
Meanwhile you could see the dual emotions of anxiety intertwined with the growing excitement from the kids, as they sensed that the “contractions” were mere minutes apart and that freedom would soon be theirs.
This whole experience took me back to the day my parents moved me into my college dorm. My roommate was from out of state and had flown in carrying one large suitcase. We carried load after load of “stuff” seemingly of importance as my roommate watched in fascination. I’ll never forget the look on my roommate’s face when my father stuck his head in the door and said, “I’ll bring ‘Ëœthe other’ car around.”
I found a letter my father wrote me shortly after that memorable move-in day. He had written, “Do the best you can in your school work, but have a delightful time, too.” And I did. (have a delightful time, that is).
I came home from the moving day process over the weekend and I collapsed from the painful delivery. Sunday night I panicked when I noticed my son had left his class schedule in his room. I knew that if he were going to “do the best he could in his schoolwork,” it would be imperative that he know when and where his classes were to be. I tried to reach him by the old -fashioned telephone, but his answer machine was already full.?? (I think he was out having a delightful time) Fortunately, I remembered the hi-tech method of locating your “college newborn” — Instant Messaging!
As I logged on, I was thinking, ‘ËœHe’ll have so much he wants to tell me.’
The conversation went a little something like this:
HD: Hey, you online?
HD: How do you like it? How’s your roommate? Do you like your classes? How’s the food?
HD: I found your class schedule. Do you have another copy?
HD: Do you need anything?
(Sensing that I was getting nowhere in this hi-tech one sided conversation, I thought it was time to “bail out” of cyberspace. I just had the most important bottom line question left to ask.)
I held my breath as I typed:
HD: Are you happy?
(I had just heard all a Mom who’s just given birth needs to hear and I knew it was time for me to exit.)
HD: Enjoy yourself. Study hard. Create lots of great memories. Have a delightful time!
JD: Bye, Mama. I love you!
HD: I love you, too.
Ahhhh — .The most beautiful words ever that can so easily turn the “labor pains” of an eighteen year delivery into a “bundle of joy”..
AND SO THE CORD WAS CUT — .