Back in 1979 I got a Maine college degree from the University Of Maine at Orono.
Two of my brothers did as well as civil and mechanical engineers. My dad was an agriculture economics major from UMO. My degree was in broadcasting with a minor in film and a slew of advertising / journalism courses. My four kids had other ideas and colleges, universities further away called their names liked sirens. So early on I started saving for these schools, sheep skin degrees from more expensive, located further away higher educational institutions.
Today I am awake in a hotel room outside of Des Moines Iowa and letting youngest son Elliot saw another hour’s worth, a cord or two of sleep logs. Driving west from Houlton Maine to Colorado Springs Colorado to leave he, a red jeep for another year of college at Colorado College. While I climb on a silver bird Sunday with Delta printed on it proudly for promotional purposes to flap two wings, aided by a pair or jet engines to guide it safely back to Bangor Maine.
Like countless other parents making trips to Kmart, Walmart, Target and Sam’s Club for back to school supplies, I am part of the exodus, the trek from home to the halls of higher learning.
The oldest daughter surviving four years with a tightly wrapped degree from Columbia in New York City. Her youngest sister doing the same at Boston’s Simmons College. The oldest son closing in on the four year degree from George Washington in Washington DC, the home of all those elected officials, upper levels of Federal government.
The trip west with Elliot will take us to Greeley Colorado tonight to retrieve last year’s college survival items, supplies. With a droid to connect daily on line to keep the Maine real estate office running smoothly with Robin’s help back home. And with a healthy flow of a very wide selection of musical genres, Elliot and I have had smooth sailing. With lively conversations on a variety of topics on life, love, family and everything in between. What has he learned, what I need to make sure I told him about, shared that he could use year’s later to guide him part of my never ending job as a parent who takes that job serious.
I am missing him already after his summer move back home before we even hug. Say good bye for a fall semester as he heads to class. With no doubt a series of college home coming parties around campus to get the year started official as old acquaintances are renewed. Kids catch up on what happened over summer vacation. And now I enjoy time with his older brother this fall who returns to DC for his last semester in January. Who is still home for a few more months.
One on one time with one of a parent’s kid is special for that parent and the child as they head to college, university or during the time off from school.
Blogging from a little town west of Des Moines Iowa with a half hour to kill before the alarm goes off to signal resumation of the last leg of the cross country college trip. The one in a red jeep called Sally that four kids sharpened their first set of driving skills in. And that will serve Elliot well on any weekend snow skiing trips he can squeeze in on the many slopes of Colorado.
Have a college kid or two you are ferrying, shuttling back to college or university? And getting an education to top your own with the conversations, exposure to the exciting lives of your students, kids, sons and daughters along the way to add to your own? I love being a parent, feel privledged to have four bright, neat, smart kids.