DC, here she comes!


Whew! It’s over. I dropped DJ off at college in a city with a population of 658,893. Well, now 894.

DC, full of vagrants, drug dealers, secret service agents, spies, politicians, eager boys who don’t have a curfew and DJ.  It does not help to know that Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner also frequent the place.

I live in anticipation of a phone call, a text, a photo posted on Snapchat, a Facebook pic – give me anything!!  A crumb child, a crumb…

The drop off was less dramatic than the anticipation of the drop off. I was fearful the drive up would be five hours of angst. Well, it sort of was, but it was all traffic related. I actually discovered, at a friend’s suggestion, an app called Waze. When the traffic gets bad, a lovely voice comes over your phone and directs you to leave the highway. You then meander through side roads and neighborhoods, passing grandma’s house with the pumpkin patch, fenced in warehouses with parking lots full of toilets, and strip bars featuring the likes of Honey Berkshire. You also get to pick your handle. I’m Sheamus Ninja (I always wanted to be called Sheamus and a ninja is just cool).

Lisa’s parents accompanied us which was very helpful and a good distraction.

On Saturday, we drove to F Street which was blocked off for thru traffic. I parallel parked and was accosted by an eager upper classman. She gave me a ticket that marked the time I arrived, 12:21 PM, and the time I was expected to pull away from the coveted curb, 12:36 PM. We had exactly 15 minutes to unload DJ’s life. The only thing she didn’t take to college was a single sock with a blown out toe and her sisters. Every other item she had accumulated since birth was in my automobile.

Pops sat on the curb with the stacks and stacks of plastic bins, suitcases, lamps, and hangered clothes we had unloaded while Nana and a handsome co-ed move-in volunteer rolled a large cardboard cart to the elevator line. I began to haul the remainder of the items up the seven flights of stairs to the corner room created for two but housing four.

It took Nana 45 minutes to get on the elevator, and by the time she arrived at the room, she shared that Daniel, her new-found friend, roomed with a kid from Raleigh. She also shared that he wanted to get into the Business School but that “C” he had in calculus was holding him back. She learned of his lineage, his dating history, the average number of times he consumed alcohol his Freshman year, his preference of boxers, and the sororities with the worst reputations. Had she stayed at GW three more hours I feel certain DJ would have met all 1,200 students housed in her dorm.

After bed making, closet cramming, shoe storage constructing and picture hanging, the time had come. All of her roommates had left the room. I asked if she wanted us to wait for them to return. She said, “No. You can go.”

I went out to the hall, took a deep breath and pulled my sunglasses out of my pocket to cover my about to be watered up eyes. Everyone got a good laugh when I walked back in the room.  No one could 100% tell that my eyes were pooled with tears, although the fam knows me well enough to assume.

When I got to the car, just Michelle and me, I started convulsing. DJ had warned her, “You’ll be with dad alone. When (not if) he starts crying, it’s your responsibility to cheer him up. Don’t play any sappy music. Talk in that goofy voice that cracks him up.”

She tried her best but to no avail. I just had to get it out.

There’s something terribly difficult about sending your kid to college for the first time.  For me, it’s less about my fear for them and more about the end of something so incredibly wonderful.

Thus far, I have enjoyed each stage of my children’s lives as much, if not more, than the stage before. I’m going to hold onto that.

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  1. Mel Ham

     /  September 16, 2015

    And the beat goes on….but i got you babe. Cheers…one of your best sister in laws…I’ve seen the other one…the competition is tough.

  2. By Christmas time, she’ll seem 100 times more sophisticated than the little girl you dropped off at college. How fast the time goes.

  3. You probably handled it better than will when my kids have to go of to uni. The bitter sweet time.

  4. Good luck to DJ and you.

  5. So proud of you! And your girls. And your family. We know so many folks in DC from our 12 years there. Count on us for anything & at anytime. Get use to the traffic. The train to Alexandria is awesome! And leave Bill alone. 😉 Onward & upward my friend!

  6. Kathy

     /  September 16, 2015

    I am with you, I too have enjoyed ever stage a little bit more then the previous but that drop off day at college is a tough one. Best of luck to DJ and the rest of you!

  7. And I’m off to text my son that he’s never allowed to go to college, or leave the house, I can just home school him for the rest of his Senior year.

  8. You did just fine. My Dad cried after he and my Mom left me at CUA for the first time. And DC is a fantastic place to go to college. I loved it.

  9. Aunt Susan

     /  September 16, 2015

    Well Nana is certainly slowing down, she shouldn’t have needed the extra time! As for you let’s just fast track the sibs and get them all gone so you can get over the loss at one time, and start enjoying all the new pets you’ll want to aquire. But what happened to parent weekend next month? And why is school so late in starting?????? I’m lodging a protest!

  10. Deana

     /  September 16, 2015

    She’s going to be great because you all did great in raising her. And wear those sunglasses as long as you need.

  11. Meghan

     /  September 17, 2015

    You made me cry. Again. But it’s sweet. And she will be fabulous, because you helped shape her that way.

  12. Margy Corder

     /  September 17, 2015

    Am proud of you, Ann, for keeping the mood positive and upbeat as you helped get your oldest granddaughter settled into her dorm room for her freshman year of college. Am sure Bruce was most grateful for yours and David¹s support. Is she settling into college life with ease?

    Had my oral surgery yesterday. It went well. Am dealing with a sore, swollen tongue. Downside: soft food is the only thing that I can eat for the next week, plus the fat tongue makes talking problematic. Other than that, I¹m fine. Won¹t know results from the biopsy until Sept. 30th.

    L&L, Margy

    On 9/16/15 4:33 AM, “The Real Full House” wrote:

    > Danny Tanner posted: ” Whew! It¹s over. I dropped DJ off at college in a city > with a population of 658,893. Well, now 894. DC, full of vagrants, drug > dealers, secret service agents, spies, politicians, eager boys who don¹t have > a curfew and DJ.  It does not help to know ” >

  13. You did a great job! Proud of you..

  14. aubslife

     /  September 18, 2015

    This is too hilarious. Good luck Deej!

  15. epic writing. I hope the days after have been busy.

  16. Great blog. I have another 13 years before I have to worry about dropping my daughter off at college for the first time. I can’t even imagine how hard that will be. Keep up the good work brother.


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