Thursday, September 20, 2007

College Man

Trey's senior year was kind of like a haze to Richie and me. College applications so long you'd think Trey was trying to buy a country; endless hours studying for the SAT and ACT; baseball practices; sports banquets; Prom. Talking about college was a fun way to pass the time; it never really seemed real, even though as the days passed, Trey's demeanor became a little more distant. Even as we packed Tupperware trunks full of clothes and other various belongings, it felt like we were taking him to a week-long camp instead of packing him off to another life.

It felt real when the alarm went off at 4:45am on that Saturday morning, and Richie and I dragged our weary carcasses out of bed. I can't even tell you if I remembered to wash my hair--all I know is that it ended up in a ponytail and that I managed to put on matching clothes, thanks to foresight the night before. I can tell you that it was the first time in his life (other than birthdays and Christmas morning) that Trey hopped out of bed the first time we called him. Even Cathryn was agreeable, if bleary-eyed, when we woke her up at the ungodly morning hour of 5:15.

When we got to Richard and Cathy's house, we immediately began packing up the vehicles and deciding who would ride with who-- Richie riding with Trey, Cathryn and me with Richard and Cathy. We were all pretty silent on our drive up, all our stomachs filled with butterflies (mine were floating in coffee, though...), with the exception of one of us asking general questions about the day's schedule.

Arriving in Hartsville, it's hard to get past the beauty of the campus. When you step onto the Coker College campus, it looks like the type of small-college campus you'd see in movies. Historic brick buildings, a grand horseshoe, gorgeous green grass, and smiling faces. We got into the registration line at 7:45, with registration starting at 8. We were like the 10th family in line--I can only imagine how early the number one family arrived. The Director of Campus Services was met with a huge round of applause--from students, not parents--when he announced that registration was open, and the line went through really quickly.

Moving in was another pleasurable experience, with Orientation Leaders dressed in plaid-- boys in vests, girls in aprons--helping families unload vehicles and taking them up to rooms. One guy was wearing bunny ears, one girl I saw was wearing a pig nose. Man, I love Orientation. As soon as Cathy and I had accounted for all of Trey's boxes, we set to setting up his room while Trey and Richie went to meet the coach. In all of the flurry, I can't remember what we did with Richard. I couldn't believe the size of Trey's room--it was bigger than his room at home! Apparently, Coker prides itself on having the biggest dorm rooms--pardon me, residence hall rooms--in the state of South Carolina. When he and Richie came back from meeting the coach, Trey had this dazed look about him. Partially from the lack of sleep, and partially from the already overwhelming day, and it wasn't even 1 pm yet.

The rest of the day was filled with parental information meetings, where they separated us from our kids and informed us for four hours that if we did not have our children sign a paper, they would not be able to tell us anything about our child's progress at Coker. Oh, oh, oh how I wish I was kidding. I tried to doze off twice, but it was Cathryn who succeeded, because she's six and can get away with that kind of behavior. Also, we got to raid the school bookstore, where Cathryn, Richie and I scored Coker t-shirts and stickers. Cathryn also purchased a blue and gold lei and a pair of Cobra pom-poms.

We had a final dinner with Trey--who reported to us that the male to female ratio at Coker was 5 to 1 and therefore the most perfect school ever--in the cafeteria (where I got the recipe for that awesome peach-apple punch we had during an intermission), and then he walked us to Richard and Cathy's Excursion, where we said our goodbyes. I hugged him tightly around his neck and whispered in his ear, "I am so proud of you", and hurried and buckled myself up before he could see me cry. I also wanted to give Trey and Richie some time to say their goodbyes.

As we pulled away, Trey gave us one final wave, and walked back to his residence hall--and his new life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making use a half of box of tissues. Lynn