100th Post: On Growing Up

2 Sep

This picture on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Web site just about broke my heart:

Stacy McCoy (back), principal at Hadfield Elementary School in Waukesha, tries to reassure incoming kindergartner Lauren Zielinski, who is having a hard time letting go of her mom, Jennifer Zielinski.

Stacy McCoy (back), principal at Hadfield Elementary School in Waukesha, tries to reassure incoming kindergartner Lauren Zielinski, who is having a hard time letting go of her mom, Jennifer Zielinski.

This could have been a picture of me at that age. I am an only child whose parents couldn’t afford babysitters much when I was small, so I was with one or both of them 24/7 for the most part. Going off to school was very difficult for me, and this was what I (and my parents, and my teachers) went through with me from kindergarten through part of second grade, I think.

I wish I could tell her that it will get better, even though I know she wouldn’t believe me. I wouldn’t have believed me. I want to tell her that when I was 17, the homesickness appeared again when I went away to college — I’d never been 2 1/2 hours away from my Mom and Dad before. I would tell her I was ready to transfer to the state college in my hometown until I came home for Christmas break — and never wanted to live under my parents’ roof again.

That month home drove me insane! I came back home for the summer after my freshman year, and when I was finished with my mandatory second year in the dorms my sophomore year, I got an apartment with a friend. I went to visit for holidays and weekend, but I never lived in that house again until I graduated from college two years later.

It’s amazing how one day you can’t imagine being anywhere but at home, and then the next you can’t get away fast enough.

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