College move brings back memories of years past

September 7, 2013

“You think more like a guy.”

That comment was made to me the other night by a male friend as we discussed our grown sons and my friend’s belief that women tend to get all weepy when their kids leave the nest, whereas men want them to spread their wings and fly.

I have always felt that I do, in fact, think more like a guy about certain things. But that’s not to say I don’t have my weepy, girly moments.

A couple of weeks ago, I helped move my youngest son, Jake, and his girlfriend into their new campus apartment at the University of Dallas.

It just so happens that the campus is about a three-minute drive from the Richardson neighborhood that we moved from back in the summer of 1999, when we came to Granbury.

Jake attended another university last year – his freshman year – but didn’t particularly like it.

He worked hard, got straight A’s and got accepted to his girlfriend’s school, UTD, where there is a strong focus on academics and not so much on athletics. Jake had visited his girlfriend there on weekends, and envied all the great amenities for students – especially the food.

Saturday, Aug. 17, was move-in day. We left Granbury with Jake’s girlfriend and her parents at about 8 a.m. in a four-vehicle caravan. After unloading and grabbing some lunch, we all went to IKEA, where we stayed so long that lunch wore off and we had to refuel at their in-store restaurant.

But the slow, careful shopping and the sore feet paid off with smart choices.

We went back to the apartment to start putting stuff together. Dusk was falling as I told the group that I wanted to make a quick drive down the road to our old neighborhood. I would be back in just a minute, I said.

The old neighborhood, cast in the glow of street lamps and porch lights, mostly looked the same, though many years have passed.

I drove by the community swimming pool where Jake’s older brother, Stryker, had learned to swim in the deep end.

I stopped for a second at Mohawk Elementary School, where a golden light illuminated the porch where I and other parents cleaned up a messy pile of confetti after an awesome autumn carnival.

I drove past our old house, where Jake once toddled to the door and locked me out when I went to grab the mail and where, at age 4, he snatched twenty bucks from my purse and tried to buy a bicycle at a yard sale a few houses away, much to the amusement of the owners.

Hard to believe that 20 years have passed since we moved to that neighborhood.

I had been gone from the apartment 45 minutes when my cell phone rang. It was Jake.

“Did you get lost?” he asked.

In a way, I guess I did. I got lost in time, and lost in thought.

Like I said, I have my moments.

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