Saturday, August 31, 2013

He's Leaving Home, Bye-Bye

No summer ever lasts long enough, but this summer has passed more swiftly than the career of a reality star.  That's because this summer --- the one that's just now bitten the dust ---  was the last summer before my son Brandon went off to college.

A child leaving home to begin college years is a rite of passage many parents would rather pass on than pass through.  Yes, we want our children to have an exciting, stimulating, and rewarding college experience which will enrich them for the rest of their lives. We want them also to never leave the house.

"Welcome to Johns Hopkins!" beamed just about everyone we encountered yesterday as we moved  Brandon into school.  "Brandon, we know you're going to love it here!"

"And, Dad, we're spiriting your son away and you're never going to see him again!"

Everything seemed so nice at college.   Friendly faces of students and staff everywhere. Lovely green campus. Promises of courses and activities to suit every taste, talent, and temperament. Special receptions, outdoor cafes,  loads of cute girls! Why would Brandon ever want to return home?  

To watch me color my beard and type blog posts nobody reads?

It seemed such a short time ago I was trundling him off to his first day of kindergarten. All that crying and screaming; I thought I'd never calm down! Wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago we were collecting Beanie Babies and watching Rug Rats?  Actually it was, but Brandon wasn't there.  Why hadn't he shown up for any of that fun stuff the last 11 years? 

By the time move-in day was over, Brandon was fully ensconced in his new digs with a couple of new friends in tow waiting for him to eat.  "Now, Dad," he said as I prepared for the lonely drive home, "feel free to come down and visit me any time you like!"  

That's m' boy! 

"Just call for an appointment first.  Maybe a couple of weeks or so in advance."

Fortunately, there were no steep cliffs on the drive back home!

So what do I do now?  Many people have suggested I get myself a dog, an idea which has some appeal.  After all, a dog is man's best friend. Why not get myself a nice Irish Setter or Shetland Sheepdog?

"Here boy, here boy!" I'll call to him. "Fetch the ball and I'll reward you with a discussion  of the latest Coen Brothers' movie!  Come on, here's a milk bone, what books you reading lately? You think the President should act on Syria?  Hey, why aren't you talking?"

Maybe I'll think about a cat instead. 

I guess there's just no way to put the genie back in the bottle or the kid back in the crib, and that's what it's all about. True, I haven't accepted my own aging, but Brandon's aging is different, exciting, full of potential.  Things may never be exactly as they were, but that doesn't mean they won't be good. And much of it, I'm sure, is gonna be great. 

So this is one bit of change I think maybe I can embrace.  I'll try.

Do cats discuss Kurt Vonnegut?



Beth said...

Great post. I so remember that day when my daughter went to UMKC. It was much harder on me than her. My then boyfriend looked around at the students and said, "Is this an Indian college?" I hadn't even noticed and certainly wasn't consoled.

Impressive college, though. What's his major?

Haha about making an appointment to see him. No worries. He'll come back for Christmas--if you tell him there's a nice gift waiting. Or a cute girl.

Perry Block said...

Thanks, Beth! For now his majors are History and Film Making, but who knows? I don't know. I don't even know if film making is one or two words. But he's doing great there already and will have no trouble fitting in.

As for cute girls, I'm hoping that he can produce one or two with cute moms. I have to get something out of all of this!

carldagostino said...

Good read with a touch of Dave Barry style. Thanks visit my blog.

Perry Block said...

Thanks for the same, and the nice compliment.

Unknown said...

Team kitty!!!!!!!! :) Also, a very touching post.

Perry Block said...

Thank you, Chris. Yes, I went for a touch of touching along with the funny this time. Thanks for noticing, and thanks for commenting.

But more likely Team Guppy than Team Kitty!

brenda said...

I feel for you. When I dropped Caitlin off in New Mexico, while there were no cliffs, there was a painted desert, which I pondered driving into. I've always maintained being a parent is the hardest gig EVER. No one told me how hard it was going to be when I had to let go.

Perry Block said...

Thanks,Brenda. Can you give me the address of that desert and maybe some directions?

I really appreciate your support and comments.

Russell said...

Welcome to the empty nest, my friend. With grown kids, the only time you hear from them is when they want something (usually money).

Perry Block said...

In my case, it's more likely I'll be writing to Brandon for money in a few years! Thanks, Russell.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields said...

Dear Perry,

Having just celebrated the big one and barely getting a happy birthday from my three grown and gone sons, I feel your pain. Well, I actually feel my own pain deeply so I empathize. My baby just turned 30 and I still fear at some point he's going to come back home.

Great post.



Perry Block said...

Sorry to hear that, but I'm sure it will all work out. I realize how fortunate I am to have such a close relationship with my younger son, which is pretty much as I write it in the blog. Hope it stays that way! Thanks for commenting, Rochelle!