Driving Your Daughter To College

by Lester L Weil

You are driving your daughter to begin college. She is dozing in the seat next to you. She stayed up late last night making last minute choices about packing. You got to sleep late also and have been up since 4:30. The trip to her mother’s house to pick her up had taken four hours. Many cups of coffee have made your stomach a little queasy.

Driving on the interstate is automatic and as you drive you remember.

She is little more than a year old as she rides on your shoulders. You are walking across the pasture after getting the mail, practicing saying kitty cat. It mostly comes out ke-ka. You named your current cat Keka. The grass is tall and the late spring day is warm. She is wearing the red dress from the picture in front of the begonia plant.

She is six months old. Lying in the hospital bed, following the surgery. She hurts. There is nothing much you can do for her, so you hold her hand and sing to her. You wonder if she has odd feelings she can’t explain when hearing the John Denver songs you sang to her then.

Nearing the college town you can sense her excitement grow. This is the next step in her path to adulthood.

Unloading in the dorm parking lot she is excited and anxious to meet her new roommate. When you help carry her things up to her dorm room the hallways are chaos, full of young girls and excited chatter. These are much better digs than the hundred year old dorm of your freshman year.

When all of her things are unloaded and in her room you want to linger, extend the moment. But this is her time, not yours. You kiss her cheek and start the long drive home alone, feeling a bit empty.

Approaching a small coastal town you miss the speed limit sign. Red lights flash behind you and you swear silently. When asked where you are going you tell about taking your daughter to college. The deputy has also recently taken his daughter off to college and he sends you on your way.

The rest of the trip is uneventful.

Published 2015 riverbabble #27

Lester L Weil

3 thoughts on “Driving Your Daughter To College

  1. I had much of the same feelings driving my daughter to college as well… also, when giving her away when she was married… Actually just sharing her… she will always be my little girl.

  2. My kids are too young for college yet, but I believe I will get a similar sense when I drop them off for their first day of school tomorrow.

  3. I enjoyed this story. I like how your protagonist shifts his mind to memories of his daughter when she was a little girl. The story is vivid and the part where he gets pulled over by a cop who coincidentally took his daughter to college is a nice touch. The rest of the trip is uneventful, is a nice way to end it. Simple and written well.

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