We were up by 4:15 (okay, Dan was up, it took me until about 4:45 to really put my feet on the ground and stop whining – early morning is EVIL). We were on the road by 5:30. Dan drove the whole way to Tallahassee – that early in the morning it took us about four hours and a lot of negotiating around trucks. Fortunately, I had a scarf to knit that did not require my full attention. I was able to watch the road and emit little shrieks as needed yet still remain focused (sort-of) on the scarf. My mom’s car was jam-packed with Dan’s possessions and some food. Using the rearview mirror was out of the question. And, yet, we arrived alive!!! Yay, Dan.
We found the apartment complex on the first try. I’m SOOOOOO glad we went today instead of Saturday. The place was packed full of people. They could not find Danny on the list even though we did the paperwork a month ago. There’s just something about us and paperwork. Finally, a manager took over and found us right away. He told us what we owed and I handed him my credit card. “Uh, ma’am (the manager was Danny’s age with a 12-year-old face) we have new owners and we can only take a check or a money order.” I stared at him. “What is this, 1985?” I asked. “I’m sorry, ma’am. Those are the rules.” I think the last time I used a money order was about 1985. I don’t carry checks with me because I never use them. I was tired from being up at the crack-of-middle-of-the-night, shrieking at Dan for driving too fast and just being weepy about abandoning my baby. The kid was nice and sent me in the direction of a place that would do a money order. I made him promise we would not have to go back to the back of the line. We got a money order and went to the head of the line.
Dan was so happy to finally get into HIS apartment. It’s a perfect apartment for four guys. Older, not too fancy but not too yucky. Dan FINALLY has his own bedroom with a big closet, lots of storage and a built in desk. Their apartment does not yet have a fourth roommate, so Dan has his own bathroom. Talk about upgrades!!!! He let me make up his bed. We unpacked and put away all the kitchen stuff. Next we went to the grocery store to pick up cold stuff. Milk, meat, OJ, bread, etc. Went back to the apartment and put that stuff away. And then, I got the vibe. You know the vibe . . . the one that says “Okay, you can leave now.” Dan gave me a huge hug and a kiss. He set the GPS so that I would only have to try to leave town once (*snort* – Dan DOES know me pretty well).
Surprising to me, I was ready to leave. Dan is good. He’s more than ready to live on his own. He doesn’t “need” me on a day-to-day basis. When I left today I wasn’t weepy, well a little. Mostly I was happy and excited for Dan. I think he’s going to have a great year. I am excited to see what he does over the next few years.
The happy, excited feeling stuck with me during the five-hour drive home. I will really, really miss Dan and our late night conversations, but I feel confident that he’s ready to be on his own. It’s exciting to think of all the possibilities open to him.
Mike is my most favorite husband – of all my husbands. When I got home, there was a giant bouquet of white daisies (love the daisies) waiting for me. :::sniff::: He’s definitely a keeper!
(Like I didn’t know that after 21 years, but sometimes he outdoes himself!)
Wow – to think when I started this blog, Dan was a whopping 12 and I was about 25 (grin)!!!!! He’ll be 19 next weekend. It’s so weird to feel surprised that our lives (mine and Mike’s) are going to change a lot now too. Don’t even get me started on Ian and Tim graduating high school this spring. I don’t think they are going to actually dig a basement to live in. I think they might be thinking of leaving too. Yikes. Everyone pray, cross your fingers, whatever for Andy. I will have way too much time and energy to focus on him in the coming years.