Slow pull of the band-aid

All summer I’ve felt okay with August 29th’s upcoming college departure.

When I talked to our insurance agent a few weeks ago to discuss changes related to the move, the agent/mother of a college sophomore said, “Remember, the word for drop-off day is dignity. You don’t want to be the ugly crier.”

“I feel good,” I said. “He’s ready. I know it’s the next step. I’m fine.”

Yesterday marked the 10 day count down.

As I grocery shopped and threw K-cups, bags of pretzels, and boxes of granola bars into my cart, I started to feel a little choked up. Here we go, I thought. Ten days of this Gail, really? Yes really…do not wish the journey away….


With long, tall, and sassy sitting across from me at lunch, I munched my carrot sticks and said, “We need to get clear on our communication tolerance levels before you go.”

Raised eyebrows….”Okaaayyyy,” he said.

“Well, I expect I’ll want more and you’ll want less. If we can come to an agreement before you go, that might save feelings of annoyance (him) and sadness (me). So, how many times a week can we talk?”

“A couple.”

“Two—a couple means two to you, right?”

“Yeah, that’s good mom, two.” Did I see an eye roll?

“And texting? Can I text you every day?”

“Sure.”

“What about pictures? Do you want pictures of Henrietta? Deer in the back yard?”

“Henrietta…sure.”

“Just so you know…I don’t have any restrictions. You can call me any time—day or night.”

The crunch of carrots drowned out any further perseveration.

Two calls a week and a daily text.

I can live with that…and keep my dignity.


All communication begins and ends with interpretations. Interpretations are the only “facts” you’ll ever have. Check validity—everything is a guess. ~Lee Thayer (Shortest Course on Communication)