‘Don’t cry Daddy, you’ll see me again’
ft took only 2I343 miles in the car but f have successfully delivered Younger DDuJKWHU WR WKH finH IRONs DW my DOmD mDWHU, WKH UnLYHUsLWy RI ,RZD Ln ,RZD CLWy, fowaI to start her college career. (ThatI by the wayI is a lot of “fowa” in one sentence.)
Those of you with college-aged children are familiar with this little physical and HmRWLRnDO HxHUFLsH: 3DUHnWs SDFN WKH FDU ZLWK HYHUyWKLnJ WKDW ZLOO fiW — Ln RuU FDsH LW ZDs WZR FDUORDGs — DnG WUDnsSRUW LW WR D FROOHJH GRUmLWRUy. SRmH FROOHJHs DUH biggerI some are smaller. Some are closeI some are far away. For the geographically challenged among usI fowa is somewhere out past test gablipI Middle of Nowhere. The important detail for me is that it’s a long way from where f live. But the experience is similar in that no matter what size the college or universityI parents are leaving their child with a bunch of kids they don’t know to be on their own and start the next phase of life.
f say phooey to that. thy do babies have to grow up anywayI DnG WKHn JR RII WR FROOHJH Ln mDJLFDO, IDU DZDy SODFHs fiOOHG with cornI cows and the world’s biggest truck stop?
So along with 4I500 other freshman over a two-day period last weekI we moved Younger Daughter into Burge Hall on the campus of the University of fowa. ft is one block from where f lived 30 years ago and if my old memory serves meI f believe during my time there we affectionately referred to Burge Hall as “The woo.” Swell. Now there is a comforting thought for a parentI huh? f was also pleased to learn that young college-aged gentlemen are still complete imbecilesI because fathers have always been comfortable leaving their daughters a thousand miles away in the company of doofuses and clowns.
CDsH Ln SRLnW: 2nH HYHnLnJ DIWHU mRYLnJ DOO RI YRunJHU DDuJKWHU’s sWuII LnWR WKH GRUms — DnG WKHn WDNLnJ LnYHnWRUy DnG finGLnJ RuW ZH sWLOO nHHGHG WR JR WR TDUJHW DnG SuUFKDsH sHYHUDO KunGUHG GROODUs mRUH ZRUWK RI “FROOHJH GRUm URRm sWuII” — ZH ZHUH ZDONLnJ WKURuJK WKH ORbby RI Burge Hall on the way to the elevators.
CRnsLGHU WKH WKRuJKW SURFHss Rn WKLs: HHUH ZDs D IDWKHU ZDONLnJ ZLWK KLs GDuJKter through the dorms. Some jamoke with those high black socks and baggy gym shorts approached me. Here is how this conversation unfolded:
gamoke: “SirI can f get on the elevator with you and go upstairs? My buddies live here and f don’t so f don’t have access to go upstairs.” Me: “that did the security folks at the front desk tell you?” gamoke: “That since f didn’t live hereI f’d have to wait for my buddies to come downstairsI and that f should just wait in the lobby.”
Me: “SonI f think it’s a very good idea for you to wait in the lobby.” that f considered suggesting was that he wait in the lobby in one of the dorms at the University of Alaska. fdiot. AIWHU DGmLWWLnJ WR mH WKDW KH GLGn’W bHORnJ uSsWDLUs Ln WKH fiUsW SODFH, WKLs MDbURnL saw me walking with my daughter and actually thought it was a solid plan to ask me to welcome him onto the elevator and escort him upstairs? To where all the young women lived? hnucklehead. f should have just pinched off his head and handed it to him. And heyI palI lose those stupid-looking black socks. You’re never gonna get any girls with that ridiculous fashion statement. And while you’re at itI pull up those baggy pants and stay off my lawn.
Despite thatI the rest of the move-in was uneventful . . . until it was time for lld Dad to say goodbye to Younger Daughter.
f could feel the tsunami of emotion building in my chest at the hotel that morningI and that feeling turned on the faucets before f ever got to campus. lnce on campusI f decided it might be a good idea to walk around a little to gather myself.
Turns out that didn’t help at all. The more f walked aroundI the more f pondered that Younger Daughter would be taking the same paths where f had walked 30 years earlier. The education and experiences that f got at the University of fowa were now hers for the taking.
Mike Morsch is executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers. The conclusion of his column can be found at montgomerynews.com or BucksLocalNews.com.