We had just begun the 4 ½ hour trip home from taking our daughter back to Penn State University when my wife Jane said to me, “you know for the most part our parenting days are over.” 

Welcoming chalkboard at Alex's apartment (Townsquare Media NJ)
(L-R) Kevin with daughter Alex and wife Jane at Penn State (Townsquare Media NJ)

I didn’t say anything for about five seconds before uttering something like “that’s not necessarily true” and I did so in an almost defensive manner because frankly I don’t want that to be the case.

As parents we often talk about that time when our kids are grown and don’t need us much and do so in a manner much like a marathon runner crossing the finish line. Thank goodness it’s here.  Honestly the more I think about it the more I wish there were many more miles to go because one of the things I love most about being a parent is being needed whether it was to tuck a child into bed at night or move them into an apartment for their senior year of college.

The later is what we did this past weekend and we were certainly not alone as about 30,000 students arrived at Penn State for the start of the fall semester.  Needless to say State College was in gridlock mode and for the first time with our daughter Alex we were not moving her on campus but rather into an apartment in the coveted Campus Towers right in the heart of the downtown area.

She is sharing a four bedroom apartment with three of her Kappa Delta sisters, including Nicole who has been her roommate since freshman year.  Maddy and Erika make up the foursome, who manage to all get good grades and rarely miss a good time.

Alex's apartment at Penn State (Townsquare Media NJ)

Move-in on Saturday was a rather exhausting experience and at times utter chaos.  You have a couple of hundred students moving in at the same time in a building with one elevator and of course Alex’s apartment is on the fifth and highest floor.

We were lucky to get a parking spot but I can’t tell you how many trips I made up and down the stairs and it was by far the most strenuous exercise I have had this summer which is clearly my fault but that’s another story.  We managed to get everything into the apartment and while wife and daughter decorated Nicole’s father Jamie and me made a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up a futon which of course had to be put together. If not for Jamie I would still be there as I served as his humble assistant.

Later we made trips to Wal-Mart, Target and Trader Joe’s for everything from food to curtains and by early in the evening I have to say the apartment looked rather awesome.

After dinner that night and breakfast at The Waffle Shop Sunday morning it was time to hit the road which is when Jane and I talked about our 8th and final move-in at Penn State as my son graduated from there in 2008.  This was by far the toughest because it is the last but I have a feeling that by the time graduation comes I will be relieved the marathon is over.