Tomorrow, my husband and I will take our youngest to the dorms at A&M.

Today has had such a somber air over all of it. He came in to my office twice, just to spend time with me. It was actually kinda funny because it was clear that neither one of us had much to say but we wanted to be together.

Earlier last night, Amy’s boyfriend ordered pizza for all of us from our favorite locally-owned shop, as kind of a last meal for Dylan. Afterwards, we all sat around talking for about an hour, mostly about the cats.

We talked about the cat that shares a room with Dylan and about some of her wild exploits when she was younger. That got us to talking more about our old house in Michigan, and I felt moments of shame in remembering how bad its condition was.

I know Dylan’s really worried that his cat will die while he’s away at school. To be honest, I’m worried about that, too. She’s already 16 years old and has part ragdoll genes, which isn’t generally the longest-lived cat breed. Her litter-mate Cammy only lived 12 years, though he was much more typical of ragdoll cats in traits and appearance.

Dyl told me that he wondered if he should have taken a gap year just to enjoy himself, rather than going straight into pursuing a real career.

On the one hand, I can see why he wonders that. Both Amy and Adam have done that and the total freedom probably looks very enviable. But on the other hand, neither Amy nor Adam have really found their way yet, either. Neither one of them is on any kind of traditional career path yet.

Dyl has so many opportunities that Amy and Adam never had, mainly because he worked really hard for them. And some things he got—like grants paying his full tuition this year—might not still be there if he took a gap year.

His college roommate came down with Covid (I don’t know if he was vaccinated or not) so it will be just Dyl alone this week. But he has a math placement exam that a lot is riding on that he needs to study for.

And the university has all kinds of activities planned for this week (before classes begin) and Dyl is going to push beyond his comfort zone and go to a lot of them.

I also found out about an internship for next summer through Johnson & Johnson—it pays $21 an hour for college sophomores with increased amounts by grade level attained. But one of the qualifying characteristics they’re seeking is a student that is involved with community service.

His background in that was very skimpy in high school and he knows he has to do more of that in college. I really hope he knows that the fact that he doesn’t have to work while in college is very rare among our family and that he’ll take advantage of the extra time to make himself competitive for these good jobs and internships.

His future really is wide open and I’m interested to see what he makes of himself. I just hope everything works out well for him. I’m so nervous—he’s the one of us who has the best shot at making it.

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