Remember that line from Freaky Friday? The annoying mother shouts it to her daughter as she drops her off at school. Did you know that line was ad-libbed by Jamie Lee Curtis? She knew instinctively it was a natural, if sometimes unspoken, thing for her character to say because she was a mom! I often said it to my own three, joking - but not really. It is the impassioned hope of every good mom as she sees that once diaper-wearing, dependent little one drive away in the family car or head off to university.
It's college prep time in our house and the place is buzzing with back-to-school anticipation. No one is a first-time college student this year but our youngest will be in her first apartment so a trip to Ikea and multiple trips to Target and Ross have been successfully completed. My girls are spending their own money for most of their stuff and I'm so proud of all three for their thriftiness and creativity!
It isn't easy to figure out how to put things on a wall that you can't stick anything on or poke anything into. Plus they'll have multiple roommates whose personal styles and cleanliness vary greatly. Oh I remember those days!
My first college roommate and I started planning our dorm room when we were juniors in high school. Her sister went to the school we wanted to go to so we even had measurements of the room we wanted to live in! When we arrived that fall of 1974, we had a baby blue shag carpet remnant cut to fit the floor, matching bedspreads ordered from the Sears catalog and hand-made flannel quilts. You won't be surprised to know that we also typed our notes from classes at the end of each day. On our typewriters. (I did say it was 1974, right?) We were nerds. But nerds with a color-coordinated room! Back then I thought our room was probably the envy of all our peers - looking back on it now, people were probably laughing behind our backs at how 'prissy' we were. Whatever. I was too busy typing to notice.
My next roommate (sophomore year) was much like me in the neatness department and our apartment was as cute as a cheap, furnished apartment in a college/military town could be. I have fond memories of exchanging tiny Christmas gifts around our real little tree and of Nancy's homemade Swedish pancakes. Takk, Nanc!
Next I lived with two friends (Diane Degron and Welda Shocker) who shared a bedroom while I had my own. I don't know why I got the single (selfish, probably) but I do know they teased me mercilessly about walking and talking in my sleep. They have no proof of this, however. Video cameras hadn't been invented yet. We were a very unlikely threesome. I've lost touch with one (except for an acquaintance-ship on Facebook) and the other is my 'sister' who I talk to all the time and knows me thoroughly but loves me anyway.
College is such a wonderful, stressful, relationally-intense time of life. So much is changing. So much seems to be at stake. You're trying to figure out what to do with your life, how to act like an adult when you still feel like a kid, how not to act like the kid you are but the adult you should be. It's tough. And fun. And I'm reminded it's important to pray for my girls as much as I ever have. There are a TON of choices to be made!
Lord, fill them with a deep sense of Your love and presence. Surround them with friends and mentors who love You and will impact their decisions. Make them super aware that they're living their lives before You as their #1 audience and You're really the only one they have to please. Protect them! Show them the total emptiness of all the world has to offer and reveal to them the fulfillment and joy there is in life lived for You. Help them choose each day to serve their God.