Lut of mouths of babes: ‘Don’t cry Daddy, you’ll see me again’

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - OBITUARIES -

It took only 2,343 miles in the car but I have suc­cess­fully de­liv­ered Younger Daugh­ter to the finH IRONs DW Py alma mater, the Univer­sity of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, to start her col­lege ca­reer. (That, by the way, is a lot of “Iowa” in one sen­tence.)

Those of you with col­lege-aged chil­dren are fa­mil­iar with this lit­tle phys­i­cal and emo­tional ex­er­cise: Par­ents pack the car with ev­ery­thing that will fiW — Ln RuU FDsH LW ZDs WZR FDUORDGs — DnG WUDn­sSRUW LW WR D FROOHJH GRUPL­tory. pome col­leges are big­ger, some are smaller. pome are close, some are far away. For the ge­o­graph­i­cally chal­lenged among us, Iowa is some­where out past West Jablip, Mid­dle of Nowhere.

The im­por­tant de­tail for me is that it’s a long way from where I live.

But the ex­pe­ri­ence is sim­i­lar in that no mat­ter what size the col­lege or univer­sity, 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.

I say phooey to that. Why do ba­bies have to grow up any­way, and then go off to col­lege in mag­i­cal, farDZDy SODFHs fiOOHG ZLWK FRUn, FRZs and the world’s big­gest truck stop?

po along with 4,500 other fresh­man over a two-day pe­riod last week, we moved Younger Daugh­ter into Burge Hall on the cam­pus of the Univer­sity of Iowa. It is one block from where I lived 30 years ago, and if my old mem­ory serves me, I be­lieve dur­ing my time there we af­fec­tion­ately re­ferred to Burge Hall as “The woo.”

pwell. Now there is a com­fort­ing thought for a par­ent, huh?

I was also pleased to learn that young, col­lege-aged gentle­men are still com­plete im­be­ciles, be­cause fathers have al­ways been com­fort­able leav­ing their daugh­ters a thou­sand miles away in the com­pany of doo­fuses and clowns.

Case in point: lne evening af­ter mov­ing all of Younger Daugh­ter’s sWuII LnWR WKH GRUPs — DnG WKHn WDNLnJ LnYHnWRUy DnG finGLnJ RuW ZH sWLOO needed to go to Tar­get and pur­chase sev­eral hun­dred dol­lars’ more worth RI “FROOHJH GRUP URRP sWuII” — ZH were walk­ing through the lobby of Burge Hall on the way to the el­e­va­tors.

Con­sider the thought process on this: Here was a fa­ther walk­ing with his daugh­ter through the dorms. pome jamoke with those high black socks and baggy gym shorts ap­proached me. Here is how this con­ver­sa­tion un­folded:

Jamoke: “pir, can I get on the el­e­va­tor with you and go up­stairs? My bud­dies live here and I don’t so I don’t have ac­cess to go up­stairs.”

Me: “What did the se­cu­rity folks at the front desk tell you?”

Jamoke: “That since I didn’t live here, I’d have to wait for my bud­dies to come down­stairs, and that I should just wait in the lobby.”

Me: “pon, I think it’s a very good idea for you to wait in the lobby.”

What I con­sid­ered sug­gest­ing was that he wait in the lobby in one of the dorms at the Univer­sity of Alaska. Idiot. Af­ter ad­mit­ting to me that he GLGn’W EHORnJ uSsWDLUs Ln WKH fiUsW place, this jabroni 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. I should have just pinched off his head and handed it to him. And hey, pal, lose those stupid-look­ing black socks. You’re never gonna get any girls with that ridicu­lous fash­ion state­ment. And while you’re at it, pull up those baggy pants and stay off my lawn.

De­spite that, the rest of the movein was un­event­ful … un­til it was time for lld Dad to say good­bye to Younger Daugh­ter.

I could feel the tsunami of emo­tion build­ing in my chest at the ho­tel that morn­ing, and that feel­ing turned on the faucets be­fore I ever got to cam­pus. lnce on cam­pus, I 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 I walked around, the more I pon­dered that Younger Daugh­ter would be tak­ing the same paths where I had walked 30 years ear­lier. The ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pe­ri­ences that I got at the Univer­sity of Iowa were now hers for the tak­ing.

By the time I got to the dorms, there was a trail of tears and snot through most of the cam­pus. I didn’t re­al­ize that one nose could man­u­fac­ture that much un­men­tion­able stuff.

:KHn ZH finDOOy PHW Ln WKH OREEy RI BuUJH HDOO, , ZDs UHDGLOy LGHnWL­fi­able. I was the one stand­ing in the pud­dle.

“Don’t cry Daddy, you’ll see me again,” she said as we em­braced.

It would not have been out of the ques­tion for some­body to call an am­bu­lance for me at that point.

po I got in my car and pointed it east to­ward Philly. I put in a Beach Boys CD, sup­ple­mented that later with a Dan May CD, and headed home. Those won­der­ful and tal­ented mu­si­cians kept me com­pany in that lonely car and helped ease the ex­cru­ci­at­ing heart­break that I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing on the long drive back to Philadel­phia.

Many of you have been through the same thing. And cer­tainly there are more heart­break­ing sit­u­a­tions in life than leav­ing one’s child at col­lege. But this sit­u­a­tion was mine, and it com­pletely owned me.

phe says she’ll be back at Christ­mas. I think I’m go­ing to put up the tree this week­end and wait by the door.

Mike Morsch is ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor of Mont­gomery News­pa­pers and au­thor of the book “Danc­ing in My Un­der­wear: The Sound­track of My Life.” He can be reached by call­ing 215-542-0200, ext. 415, or by email at msquared35@ya­ This col­umn can be found at www.mont­

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.