Not one of our boys here at home have visited Baylor, before this weekend. Either Craig or myself have taken Donny for his baylor trips, so this was a highly anticipated adventure forour unemancipated guys. We’ve visited campuses before as a family to introduce the realities of campus life to all the boys, hoping they’d understand college is worth the enormous effort of preparing to get there. Those trips had a benign, separate-from-real-life effect on the overall experience. But this time, they’ve spent a month missing Donny (and truth be told in many ways enjoying his absence of annoying habits) so they were ready to absorb how his new life worked.
It was interesting to see what they chose to wear to Baylor. There was intent in everyone’s choices. Kevin wore his UofM tshirt both because they were playing a game that day and because that’s where his loyalties lie. Jack wore a baylor green tshirt and the string backpack Donny gave him that says Baylor. He’s sure that all college kids wear these backpacks to carry important items like his phone, his wallet and his DS game in case he got stuck somewhere he’d get bored. Jordan dressed up. He was certain that by what he wore he would be mistaken for a college student, afterall he is now taller than Donny and he needs to shave. It didn’t go by me that he chose his most stylish shoes and skinny jeans rather than clothing that could help him tolerate the sweltering heat. (Who ever said boys are not vain haven’t had enough time around enough boys.)
Despite their quickness to individualize themselves by their dress, they were all eager to obtain Baylor items at the bookstore. After that shopping event the next item of business for these campus life observers was to visit the dorm room. This is a place of fantasy to all adolescents. It means mom isn’t watching to see how you keep your things in order, nor does she know when you rise up to greet the day or if you ignore bedtime guidelines, and most perfectly she cannot know how much snacking supersedes nutritious meals. The dorm room is the symbol for freedom. And so it is, BUT, it’s the size of a shoebox which in the end flushes some of the fantasy away. Nevertheless, they found it interesting and if they were honest they experienced a fair amount of envy. I just couldn’t help myself from being a “mom” and reminding everyone to recall how hard Donny had to work to get to this place. A heavy hint lingered as I turned and left the room that hadn’t been given one thought to the fact that a mother might see it. All the comments I might have made about it’s condition I kept to myself, because self-control is good for the soul.
The boys enjoyed seeing the campus buildings, and the live bear exhibit, but mostly they just wanted to see where Donny called home away from home. They all have a sense of relief now that they can picture him where he is now that we have to endure many months of his absence… or is it enjoy?…depends on the classic who, what, where, and whens. For me, well I just breathe a little deeper and more completely when I can see all four of my sons at once. I am extraordinarily thankful for those uncommon moments now.