Saturday, April 14, 2012

I THINK I KNOW WHAT PURGATORY IS LIKE...

Last week my daughter Olivia was on Easter break from college, so I made the 6 hour round-trip to pick her up, and, a few days later, the 6 hour round-trip to take her back.  Each time on the way up, when we hit the city of Flint, which is about 50 minutes from our home in Romeo, I would feel elated because we had almost completed one third of our journey.  Each time on the way back, when we hit the city of Flint, which is about 50 minutes from our home in Romeo, I would feel despair, because we still had to complete about one third of our journey.  That is the spot at which I would begin to whine, repeating, over and over, my return-trip mantra, "We are never going to get home.  We are never going to get home.  Why can't she go to a school closer to home."
On one of the trips, my husband had driven along with me, so I lamented to him how much more fun it would be if we had taken a six hour drive that actually ended up with our final destination being somewhere other than our house; a vacation spot, for example. To pass the time, I asked him where we would be if we had gone north for six hours.
"Well," he said. "We would have crossed the Mackinac bridge, and would be somewhere in the Upper Peninsula."
"Oh, that would be great."  I replied, wistfully. "Where would we be if we had driven south?"
"Still in Ohio." he said.
"Oh, that would be hell." I replied, horrified.  Where would we be if we had continued on towards the West?"
"We would be in Chicago."
"Much better!" I said with enthusiasm.  "If we went east though, I think we would be in the middle of one of the Great Lakes, so we shouldn't go that way.  Then again, if we just continue on in the direction we are going we will end up in our house, that is presently being remodeled, and is covered with dust and in total disarray. I am just going to go east, after all; the middle of Lake Huron will be cleaner."
In just a few weeks, I will be making the trip again; this time with a Valente caravan, if I can coordinate one, so that we can bring Olivia home, along with all the furnishings and clothes that she has accumulated in the dorm room that she will be vacating for the summer. It is interesting to note how many possessions a student can fit into a room about the size of one's bathroom...the amount is considerable.   A couple of months later we will reverse the process, so that we can bring Olivia  back, along with all the furnishings and clothes that she will be needing again, in the NEW dorm room she will be occupying.  College administrators plan it this way, because they feel that paying tuition isn't memorable enough for parents of students; the additional work of moving a student in and out of dorm rooms on a regular basis will embed the college experience in parents' minds for eternity.  It is also helpful because it gives one an idea of what purgatory would be like, thus providing incentive to be a better person.
Ultimately though, it is, of course, worthwhile.  Olivia has had an exemplary first year, and, just like her sisters before her, Dave and I marvel at all that she has accomplished.  She is, also, the last of our daughters, so we understand that the next move we make with her, after her college years are finished, will be to somewhere other than her home with us.  It is enough to make me savor these long drives...and maybe wish they wouldn't be over, so soon.


7 comments:

  1. Really good. Garret will be going away to Ferris this coming fall so I will be feeling your pain. It is a 3 hour drive there. I am excited for him. I never got to do that. I just hope is all goes well for him. Thanks for sharing. lyn xoxo

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    1. okay, well i have some really good advice for you. when you move him into the dorm for the first time, try to remember which one it is. that way, when you make a quick run to the store for some odds and ends, and then return to give them to him you won't end up at the wrong building. that is what i did, and then when olivia didn't open the door right away i knocked really hard and said, "open the door!!! it's your mother." and then a student that i did not recognize opened the door and said, "no, you are not." ;D

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  2. Amy there are boats that go across Lake Michigan !!!! My nephew went to U of M and I know what you mean about dorm rooms. My cousin kid also went to U of M but she as in a house with 11 other people The way these kids live is amazing and the rent collected from these 12 kids for a very short school term, is a sin !!!!

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    1. yes, janet...but i was only including if you traveled by car. lol! ;D

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  3. Rose Amella-LandryApril 15, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Amycita, yes, yet another great blog! Maybe they should be readers digest articles. Maybe even articles in Women's Day mag. something where more peeps can enjoy them! Can't wait for the next one!

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    1. i wish, rose!! well, hope springs eternal. ;D

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  4. Rose Amella-LandryApril 16, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    T. Y. My dear friend,Amycita!

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