Twenty years ago today, Dee and I were in Boston, depositing Elder Daughter at what would be her new home for the next four years: Boston University.
We had done the obligatory College Search Trip, E.D. and I, the previous summer, visiting several schools in the Northeast. But it was pretty clear from the get-go that she was interested in one college, and one college only, from the moment her feet touched ground on campus - and that college was Boston University. And so that is where she decided to go.
The intervening year - Senior Year! - passed all too quickly, and before we knew it, it was time to transport our daughter and her Critical Belongings to Boston.
Logistics were a bit tricky, since we were living in Houston at the time - a Gawd-awfully long distance away by any surface transportation. Fortunately, since E.D. would be living in a dormitory, there was no need to schlep furniture. We would simply pack whatever miscellaneous clothing and supplies she would need in boxes and ship it up there by UPS, freeing us to fly without a monumental amount of checked baggage.
What we didn’t plan on was a UPS strike. Ah, well. The stuff got there eventually.
It was an eventful weekend, what with our scurrying about and helping to get our daughter situated in her new digs. Still there was more: It was Dee’s birthday.
And then came the shocking news from England about the tragic accidental death of Princess Diana.
The United Kingdom and the remnants of its Empire mourned... and we Americans mourned with them. It was a sad coda to what had started out as a fairy-tale story, one that had gradually developed darker tones as the years passed. Ah, well. Sic transit gloria mundi.
But our concerns were more immediate. We had a birthday to celebrate! And we had the bittersweet task of getting our firstborn settled in to her dormitory room, ready to begin her independent adult life. It was a bittersweet day.
I’ve written about that day before, and yet I can still conjure up the emotions I felt back then, a peculiar stew of joy, agitation, horror, grief, excitement, and unabated love. What else can you expect from an eventful weekend?