‘Don’t cry Daddy, you’ll see me again’

The Advance of Bucks County - - OPINION -

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.

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