Hello Tulsa!

Casey was 3 the first time.

“I’m going to school like my Bubba.”

I walked her to her class and signed her in.

“Bye Mommy I am going to play with my friends.”

“Wait! Give me a hug!”

She did. Some children were crying. Some didn’t want their Mommy’s to leave. Mine? She was enthralled with the prospect of friends.

I stood for a moment watching her little fearless being. Then, I turned and walked toward the door. Tears welling up. “Oh Susan”, I told myself, “pull it together it’s only 3 hours.”

It was the second week of school when she was invited to a playdate. She had made her friends.

She grew and became a little spitfire. Friendly, fun, adventurous. So when she was Senior in high school and announced that she was going to ORU in Tulsa, OK, I was not surprised. I steeled myself and tried to steel her.

“You know, Tulsa is not a drive where I can go to you if you get sick. It’s a plane ride and expensive. Are you sure you are ready for that?”

She was. She did. We flew into Tulsa, my daughter and I and her best friend. We rented a car and went to Sam’s Club to get a membership. Then to Target to get dorm supplies. Then we went to the dorms and decorated her room. We went back the next day and we found the cafeteria, and the medical office in case she needed a nurse. We looked for a church to attend. Tulsa, I had to trust you with my precious creation and I didn’t even know you.

When it was time to say goodbye. My heart pounded just like before.

“Mom, it’s going to be fine.”

“I know.” I hug her tight.

I fly home with her best friend, tears spilling over.

“Oh Susan, pull it together. It’s just 3 months.”

One thought on “Hello Tulsa!

  1. I’ve been living in Portland for over 3 years now, and except for a couple of months, my now 20 year old has been in Wichita, about 2 1/2 hours from Tulsa.

    The world is a whole lot smaller than it used to be though.

    When I went off to college in the days shortly before Google, cell phones, included long distance, and affordable digital cameras… I was only 8 hours away… A days drive but it might as well have been another continent. I was on my own, and with limited contact.

    Things are very different with Kiddo.

    It’s pretty easy to send messages back and forth, check on strange rashes over messenger chat, get pics of anything and everything, have gopuff deliver covid tests and apple juice to her and her roommates, Walmart and Target can show up at her door with groceries. She used to always get ice cream when she got shots at the doctor.. and thanks to doordash, sundaes even arrived after her covid shots. 🙂
    When she was in a wreck down in Oklahoma, I could pull up the info for local towtrucks from thousands of miles away just as easy as if I were in town. Cash can be transferred between accounts almost instantly.

    She still attends a lifechurch campus in Wichita, I join one of the online services instead… So we can still trade comments back and forth about random things in the service.

    It’s a very different relationship… In our case, this was a good thing.

    But I’m frequently reminded that it’s much much easier than 20 years ago.

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