Boo Hoo It's Off
To College For You...
oldest son is going to college. Most of the time
I am so happy for him, but where does this leave
me? He was an extra appendage on my leg until the
age of eight, not that I minded dragging his
little body around. To this day, he stoutly
denies ever holding fast to my pant leg.
Andrew runs to
the mailbox everyday hoping for acceptance
letters. He is a bear to live with and we pray
the school of his choice accepts him. It seems to
me that back in the day; you applied
for one or two schools at your leisure and were
happy to go to whatever school accepted you. None
of this exaggerated business of applying to ten
or twelve schools, but I digress. Fortunately,
for Andrew his preferred school admits him and
all is calm at our home again. We are inundated
with many emails from Gonzaga.
require the convenient package of XL sheets for
his twin bed? This of course comes with a
matching comforter and pillow sham, standard
bedding package: $149.95.
require a twice-monthly 2-hour room cleaning
service? Price: $65.95 per clean. There is a
twenty-one-point checklist for quality assurance.
Are you kidding me? His room is the size of a
require laundry service? Light use: $19.95 per
week. Andrew has been washing his clothes since
age thirteen years. A birthday present from Bob
and me, the laundry detergent included of course.
Andrew has the
option to order his books ahead on
line. Delivery to his school mailbox is
included in this option. What the heck? I
remember standing in interminable lines for the
privilege of buying my used books.
every direction that I have given him in
preparation for college. I am after a master
packer, and he finally recognizes this...after
eighteen years, not that I am counting. We shop
for bedding (no, we did not order the expensive
college bedding), and lamps and school supplies
and clothing. Bob even takes him shopping for
hiking boots (he is in the outdoor/leadership
dorm). Speaking of the type of dorm, he is in...
it is great for him. I am silently jealous that
these super cool options were never available to
me. Of course, an extra fee is required so that
he can raft, hike, or take a cruise on Lake Coerd'lane.
He also pays a fee for his campus-dining card;
you should see the food that is available. There
is food for every ethnicity on campus, definitely
better grubs than he gets at home! We pack the
essentials for his new room, and he packs the car.
He is ready to go the night before we leave which
is fortunate as he is going out with his high
school friends tonight.
We have a
happy road trip to Spokane Washington and drive
straight to the hotel, which is walking distance
from the school. After checking into the hotel,
we wander around campus for a bit and find the
bookstore. I incorrectly assume Andrew has
ordered his books on line, who wouldn't? He has
done nothing of the sort; I did not understand
his lame excuse. I silently grind my teeth as he
wanders around the shop carting his book cart
like a lost soul. I nick behind a bookcase and
ask a clerk to help him. She smiles at me; she
has witnessed the inept student, hovering
mother situation many times. She attempts
to help him, he politely declines her offer,
I prefer to wander around for 2 hours while
my parents twiddle their thumbs. This is
not what he really said but this is what occurred.
Fortunately, there is no line as we are there a
day early. Andrew says he was right in not
ordering his books on line as going
to the bookstore posed no problems. Bob dryly
replies that we will come back tomorrow to show
him the line. I am somehow irked at Andrews
very self-satisfied attitude...
we all retire early, as tomorrow is the big move-in
day. We have a hearty breakfast of cereal with no
milk and one tablespoon of scrambled eggs.
Apparently, we missed the breakfast rush but also
missed the food. Andrew is chomping at the bit to
move in, but Bob and I insist on stopping at
Starbucks before we undertake the day's chores.
There is no one in line to as Andrew checks in at
the dorm has and there are no people moving in. I
begin to think we are in the twilight zone. I
swear that lines are part of the initiation for
college, like a giant Club Med.
his room and is comfortable in his postage stamp
location. Good for him, I cannot imagine myself
in this environment again, but then I am old and
long in the tooth. His roommate arrives, and we
leave them to unpacking, he says he will phone us
visiting a close friend and Andrew calls, he
wants dinner right now. How nice for him, we
finish visiting our friends and drive the twenty
minutes to the dorm. Andrew is gone; he and his
newfound friends are off to dinner, without us.
For some reason I have my feelings hurt and begin
to sob. Bob and I lament over Andrew's harsh
dismissal of us over dinner, well actually, I
lament and cry in my beer and Bob pats me on the
back. The waiter looks sympathetic; Bob explains
our oldest son dismissed us for his new friends.
The waiter makes soothing noises, and I begin to
feel better. I cheer myself with the prospect of
a satisfying breakfast with our son tomorrow.
This will be the perfect send off for our son. I
will tell him some old stories from the past,
about me of course, he will pretend to like them,
and then we will have a giant hug fest.
us up for breakfast; I guess it was a tentative
date, all in my head apparently. Anyway, I
console myself with a visit to his room, I am
sure everything will be unpacked and things will
be arranged neat as a pin with pictures of Andrew
and me in a prominent position. I packed our
mother-son dance picture in his bag
when he was not looking. I also put in Jocko the
sock monkey in case he gets homesick. The room
looks as though a tornado has hit and there are
no pictures of the family, I do see several
pictures of our dogs.
Andrew and his roommate on their marvelous room
arrangements, and they preen like peacocks. I see
Andrew has clothes hamper out in deference to his
roommate; apparently, he will throw his soiled
laundry in the hamper instead of the floor, as he
is wont to do. Andrew tells us about his upcoming
busy day, and we take the hint, well Bob takes
the suggestion and begins to pull me out the door.
Upon leave taking, Bob gives Andrew some sort of
advise, I am at a loss for words. I hug my giant
son, not caring if he cares. He tolerates me and
pats my back, I am now used to this back patting.
I walk quickly away and don't look back. Andrew
waves goodbye and asks; mom, when are you
coming back, will you bring Lisa and Ken? I
know he will deny this but this is what he said.
Just as he denies ever hanging on my leg, some
things don't change.