College life is good for the kid, but not so good for mom

It’s such a huge adjustment, really; going from high school to college.

I mean, the move alone is a major modification to life as you know it. Everything you knew before of regular old existence at the homestead is turned completely upside down, physically and, you know, in the feels.

Some take to it more quickly than others. For example, I’ve heard of certain contingents of humans who make the transition early in year one, or, if not, certainly by the time the first semester of sophomore year begins the next autumn.

Stupid well-adjusted, overachieving mutants. Whatever.


Anyhoo, as I was explaining, while there are those who slide into this deal more smoothly than Rickey Henderson used to steal bases, there are some other earth-dwellers for whom that hill of a challenge seems more like Mount Everest.

Say, student athletes, for instance.

I think it stands to reason that this climb up the higher educational plane can be even more demanding on them.

I mean, not only is the season longer, the training more intense, the competition fiercer and the coursework tougher, but also, many of the previous rules simply don’t apply anymore.

Such as I can’t serve as a timer from the pool deck and have the best vantage point in the house like I did for four years of high school, not to mention an additional decade of club and summer swimming.

Wait, what? You thought I was talking about my kid having a hard time adapting to college life? Um, no. That guy’s a rock.

This I should’ve known when, after I cried for three hours straight during his first session of 3-year-old preschool after I happily returned to reclaim him, Kyle deadpanned — quite disgustedly, in fact — “You’re back already?”

Foreshadowing of ferocious independence.

Indeed, friends, separation anxiety is a one-way street in my casa — and I’m the only one driving down that deserted highway, you dig? I digress.

It’s not easy going from “Swim Mom 2018” to “And You Are?” in one fell swoop.


Then again, friends, always be careful what you wish for.

Last week, I found myself back on deck — and it was no bueno, yo.

Having been dumped out of the car by my husband, I wandered to an open natatorium door only to find out I WAS STANDING BEHIND THE OPPOSING TEAM, who was warming up.

As was I.

Because, as I slip-slid my way across the tile in my boots and goose-down parka, I decided very quickly that I didn’t much care for the college deck as I stammered, “Forgive me,” “I beg your pardon,” “I apologize,” “Please excuse me,” “I AM SO VERY SORRY…” about 47 billion times.

Covered in sweat (it’s like 947 degrees in there), mortification and the sheer dread that my son might catch a glimpse of me, I considered dropping to the ground and sliding on my belly the rest of the way — you know, all stealth and what not.

And just when I thought I was in the clear at pool’s edge, Kyle’s coach yelled, “Well, if it isn’t our No. 1 fan!”

Humiliated, I apologized again and slunk into a chair — four counties over. I watched the meet through binoculars. Did I mention I’ve had a complete face transplant so no one will ever recognize me again?


No worries, though, I’m totally getting the hang of college life. By the time Kyle gets his Ph.D., I should be completely transitioned.

Kimerer is now in the swim witness protection program but you can still reach her via www.patriciakimerer.com.


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