Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, today Eldest Gel headed back to college to start her sophomore year.

What an incredible difference a year makes.  This time last August, it was a convoy of cars, enough clothing and gear to outfit a regiment, various lines for sign-ups and orientations, and a very long, very trying day of Mrs. Robbo and Self getting the Gel settled in, capped off by the teary farewell hugs and the more or less silent, contemplative drive back to Port Swiller Manor.

This year? The Gel loaded only what she needed in her car, said “Well…bye“, and tooled off.

I talked to her after she got back to school and got into her dorm room (which, funny enough, is Sistah’s old room) and she seemed pretty chipper.  I think she’s going to have a good year.

All this got me thinking about young birds and nest-leaving.  I don’t clearly recall a great deal of my own misspent yoot, but one point I remember very, very clearly is the day I suddenly realized that I had, myself, left the nest-  that what all my life I had thought of as “home” was now becoming “my parents’ house”, that I could never, ever go back (well I could, of course, but not in the same relationship), and that one chapter of my life definitely had closed and another was beginning.

It was Christmas break of my own junior year in college.  When the idea hit me, I burst into tears and sank my head on The Mothe’s shoulder.

Ah, yoot.

I don’t think this idea has come anywhere close to crystalizing in the Eldest’s mind, yet.  I’ll be very interested to see what happens when it does.

Meanwhile, the other two are starting their senior and sophomore years in high school next week.  Middle Gel is doing the college boogaloo herself this fall, and Youngest (hopefully) has finally realized that yes, grades matter and yes, if you want good grades you’ll have to actually work for them.

But the best part of all? Mrs. Robbo goes back to work at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method and has to start getting up in the morning again instead of wallowing a-bed while Ol’ Robbo stumbles off to the salt mines at zero-dark-thirty.  Heh, indeed.