|Spreading wings.... the morning of the Big Day.|
Nearly 3 weeks ago we took our daughter to university. The uni is about an hour and a half away, so we dropped her off, helped her unpack in the frenzy of first day settling in. Masses of parents and fledgling adults milling around, shrills, shrieks and smiles all around. Some looking wary or tearful but mostly all buzzing with a sense of excitement.
I was transported back to my first day of Teacher's College - a lot less energy flying in all directions as ours was a single sex college. Girls only. My daughter is attending a co-ed residential establishment - a healthy blend of boys and girls. Hence the energised live-wire frenetic excitement buzzing around on Move In Day.
|Our daughter's new home for 2014|
She was excited to go, but closer to the time, a little nervous. Don't worry, we said, it's natural. I had planned on being a bit sad to leave her behind, and accepted there may be a few tears shed (by me). After all, I had read and heard so much about Empty Nest Syndrome. But then I was surprised to feel completely calm and resigned to the whole process. Everything just is what it is. And maybe there was a sense of quiet relief on our part. We'd done our bit. After all, that's what us parents aspire to........ creating independent young adults who can hold their own in the Big Wide World Beyond.
I penned a note to her, which we posted through her ground floor open window as she skipped off with the girl across the corridor, to some newbie's meeting. The note wished her well, and offered to be but a call or text away.
I half expected a call that night, when the excitement had worn off, in the quiet moments of darkness. Nothing. I emailed her a note of support each day for the next 3 days. Hoping she was having a ball. Nada. Nothing. No comms from her. We sent a text to ask her if she was settling in okay. Again, nothing in return. So on the 4th day, I emailed: "There will come a day that you will miss us. Or even remember us."
That night, she sent a one lined response. Something about her being very busy. Lots of social activities. Classes due to start next week!
|Dahlia in sunlight|
As always, with my daughter, her issues in life are all surrounding education. She always has experienced hiccups in this arena. So, as in her regular patterns of experience, it was 2 weeks before Uni started that she received confirmation of acceptance. She'd had to transfer from Teacher's College in Bethlehem to Hamilton Waikato University. The hiccup was due to the fact she had been sick with Glandular fever for 5 weeks last year and had missed some of the assignments - so her marks had been uploaded as incomplete. She'd had to do some last minute catch up assignments and was patiently awaiting the results. So with 2 weeks notification, all stations were-a-go! We had to compile a list of items to pack - after nutting out what she'd need to take with her, I went online to find a suggested packing list for residence or boarding school. After all, you can find just about anything online these days. But search after search, trying to change the words of the search, wielded very little in packing guidelines.
So we compiled our own fairly extensive list for anyone ever needing to pack their child off to an away-from-home-accommodation. Can be easily tweaked for a boy.
Residential Accommodation Packing Guide:
- Long pants 2
- Shorts 2
- Dresses/skirts 2 each
- Evening wear 2
- Warm Jackets 2
- Sun hat and warm beanie
- Bag for laptop
- Backpack for classes
- Shoes 4 prs casual, 2 prs evening,1 pr jandals
- Long sleeve tops 3
- T-shirts 5
- Jersey/Cardigan 2
- Bras 2-3
- Hangers 6
- Duvet and Cover
- Pillow and Cover
- Sheets 2 sets
- Towels 2 hand and bath
- Drink bottle
- Mug, Coffee Plunger and assortment teas, coffee, sugar, powdered milk
- Drinking glasses
- Raincoat and/or Umbrella
- Nail clippers and tweezers
- Dish-washing liquid and sponge
- Laundry powder
- Sanitary wear
- Cotton buds
- Set of eating utensils and sharp knife for cutting fruit etc.
- Plastic food containers
- Music- ipod or similar
- Possibly desk lamp if none available in res room
- Rug and bed cushions to create a homely feel
- Familiar posters
On our return home from Hamilton, we had a few photo opps.
|Field of Sunflowers|
|A quaint church in the middle of nowhere: The Anglican Parish of St Mary's, Gordonton, built in 1934|
We even stopped at another roadside attraction: Raw milk sold at the farmer's gate, via a milk vending machine. I had read about one in the OrganicNZ, so was really excited to check it out! Fascinating stuff! Farmers are not tied into ball-busting contracts with Big Dairy Company Giants.
|Unassuming little building houses an entire dairy farm's supply of milk!|
|No middle men! $2.50 per litre. Farmer is paid a decent and fair price.|
|Filling my drink bottles with ice-cold fresh, raw milk!|
This machine costs in the region of $65 000!
There is a glass liter bottle vending machine too for repeat customers.
The nest is now empty of fledglings. I thought I would have heaps of time on my hands but we seem to have been busier than usual -garden, sustainable home and garden open day, romantic dates with my man, social commitments etc. Our daughter came home last weekend. For one night only. It was really only to fetch her little car and then she was zooting off again so that she wouldn't miss out on Saturday evening's social clubbing night. When I asked if she could maybe stay another night, she replied that she had already "sacrificed" her Friday night to come home. Hmmf! I should remind her of all we've sacrificed over the last nearly-19 years. I'll start compiling a new list! Watch this space...........