The day after West Virginia University’s Ginny Thrasher won the first gold medal of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, I was in Morgantown.
But I wasn’t there to help celebrate.
I was there to move our son into his dorm room.
Our eldest kid is no longer living in our basement. He’s out of our house and on his own, albeit still on his parents’ dime.
Our son started his WVU career a week early. He’s a trumpet playing member of the Mountaineer Marching Band, “The Pride of West Virginia.” The Pride requires members to show up a week early for band camp.
I admit to being somewhat apprehensive about turning him loose on Morgantown. And my eyes may have even welled up a little when I left him on his own. I’m not saying they did, just that they MIGHT have.
But now that it’s been nearly a week since the last time I saw our son, I’m starting to see the bright side of this college thing.
And so is my wife.
A couple of days after our son left she called me from her office. With sirens wailing in the background, she said “it’s nice not to have worry about him being in a car accident every time I hear an ambulance or fire engine.”
That got me thinking about several more things we won’t miss:
- Bellowing down the basement stairs each morning because we don’t trust him to set an alarm.
- Having to continue bellowing because he didn’t hear us the first time.
- The morning bathroom fight between him and his younger sister.
- Scrambling through a lukewarm shower before it turns frigid because he used most of the hot water.
- Being distracted when guests are over out of fear that he might wander into the family room wearing nothing but boxer shorts.
- Trying to pry information from him and only getting a series of grunts and a shrug for our trouble.
- Our weird relationship with the pizza delivery guy who, until last week, rang our doorbell on what seemed like a near daily basis.
- Having to buy frozen pizza in a misguided effort to satisfy his craving and keep the pizza bill within reason.
- Wrapping a pillow around our heads because he decided that 2am is the perfect time to practice his trumpet.
- Putting up with his sleeping until 2pm because he was up all night – PRACTICING HIS TRUMPET!
This list is hardly exhaustive, but it doesn’t mean we are gleeful that he’s gone and no longer interested in keeping tabs on him.
The fact is, we are getting sort of desperate. He’s been largely silent since he left. He hasn’t even been sending us many text messages, his preferred method of communication. My wife and I have been reduced to searching for him in the pictures the WVU band posts on social media.
That will likely change, though.
After all, his penchant for pizza means he’s bound to eventually run out of spending money.