As always happens, this summer has flown by, and this year I had the added mom-guilt of trying to squeeze in enough family time before our eldest headed off to college. We managed to go to the "big wave beach" in Rhode Island as one last family event before JP left. It was a cloudy day, but fun, nonetheless!
On JP's last day of work at the ice cream store, we went to visit him. This shop was such a great summer job for him (and Andrew). He made lots of tip money that paid for his portion of his first semester of college, and the owner and manager were so so nice to him. The owner shook my hand on JP's last day to thank me for raising good kids, which made me tear up. I hope all of my kids work here for a very long time!
We drove down to Maryland to visit with Phil's side of the family for a few days before heading out to Ohio. JP's move in day was also going to be Brendan's 5th birthday, so we celebrated a day early.
I love my two bookends and their relationship so much, and they are exactly the same age difference that I was with my oldest brother. When he went to college, I started Kindergarten, and that's what JP and Brendan are doing. I truly hope they can keep close through technology, something my brother and I weren't able to do.
On the morning that Phil and I left for Franciscan University, Declan (age 7) started crying as we said goodbye, and I tried to console him by saying "Mom and Dad will be back in 2 days" and through sobs he asked "But what about JP, when is he coming back?" It was heartbreakingly beautiful to see how much he was going to miss his big brother.
We all will.
We arrived on campus 4 hours later, and got JP moved into his (tiny!) dorm room pretty quickly. There are lots of students on the Orientation Team and the rugby team who helped move everyone in...they were so hot and tired but amazingly welcoming!! We met his roommate and his parents (from New Hampshire - so close to us!) and felt very comfortable being back on campus around so many young and faithful students. Man, I love Franciscan so much!!
On the next morning, Phil and I went for a run around campus (the hills nearly killed us), and took photos in front of the apartments we lived in while we were dating. They were "the projects" back then, but now the University owns them and they are called "Assisi Heights". Much safer now but not a free place to live anymore!
There was a whole Orientation Weekend full of events for students and parents, with the highlights being a fun opening ceremony, a good old Steubie Mass, an alumni reception, and a skit about life at FUS. Of course, we had to get JP set up with his student ID, meal plan, SWOP job, class registration and textbooks as well. It was busy but not overwhelming.
JP is a Biology major with a Pre-Health Concentration, which is the path he needs to take to become a Physician's Assistant. He was very happy to find out that he doesn't have to take Organic Chem on this path! We were very happy to find out that JP is a Sophomore thanks to all of his AP tests, and can finish college in three years. He might have to stay for 3.5 years to be able to fit in a semester in Austria, which is important to him. And coincidentally where his parents met :)
Since we dropped him off, we got a video (from his cousin, also a Freshman) of him learning to swing dance from a cute girl. That is such a smooth Steubie move "Can you teach me how to swing dance?" Haha, I should know since I used it as well.
One last photo before we said goodbye to my favorite John-Paul ever...and that's saying something if you know how much I love St. JP2 :)
We miss you already JP, but you're going to have the best time at Franciscan, and that gives this sappy momma a huge sigh of relief. Thank you baby Jesus, and keep watching over my baby.
I love this post. So touching and I can totally relate. When Eddie left for college, Curly sobbed and clung to him (he's 7 years older than she is). It got me like a karate chop to the throat. Happy that you are confident in where he has landed. We dropped Tank off a few weeks ago at the same Jesuit school that Coach went to and we are so happy with his choice. Wishing JP all the best this year and that the family adjusts to the distance. May he be blessed with a wonderful, safe year.ReplyDelete
*I've been thinking of you and since you hadn't blogged in a bit, I almost emailed you to see how the new job was going. Have you started yet? Or does that happen after the kids go back to school? All the best.
Thank you!! I did start my new job this week, so far so good! My kids go back to school next week… Lots of changes around here but it keeps life fun!Delete
Oh JP looks ready for this next chapter. I am sure it's so difficult for the littles though. (And mom and dad of course.) Praying for an easy transition and a great school year for him.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, and by the way I’m totally jealous of that concert you went to with Hanson and more importantly John Stamos!Delete
I grew up near Steubenville so it is always neat to see it through the eyes of others. I didn't go to FUS because it was too close to home (I didn't want to commute) and no band/marching band program. I'm 100% happy with the college I chose, but I do sometimes wonder if I missed out by never even seriously considering FUS.ReplyDelete
I can totally understand wanting to go away and live at a college!Delete
I hope he has a wonderful year and that your whole family is adjusting to his absence. We are definitely missing Peter around here. 😢ReplyDelete
We miss JP so much, but losing 50% of your children would definitely feel like a bigger absence I’m sure!Delete
Such a great school!ReplyDelete
Love seeing this, Colleen! I’ll be praying for your mama’s heart and everyone who will be missing their brother. 💕ReplyDelete
Oh Colleen! Catching up with your family via your blog. Do remember Christie and trey? Their son is there too- which is just so unbelievable to me. Wild times how fast time fliesReplyDelete