This one’s a big deal, too ||
Sometime earlier when I began writing this blog, I mentioned about how life becomes a series of “lasts”, where a family tradition or routine that was done for some time eventually stops and comes to an end.
Just recently, another “last” happened to us. Last week, we moved my son Christian into his apartment to start his senior year at the University of Rochester.
No more buggy-lugging furniture onto a dormitory elevator, no more hauling boxes of college-related stuff into a single room, no more trips to Bed Bath & Beyond, WalMart, and Target for the essentials that we learned to buy while up at college and not bring them up with us from home.
This past summer, I made a conscientious effort to spend as much time with Christian as possible. In fact, I dubbed it “the summer of Christian”. We tried to get in as much quality time as possible. It was a little hard because of our work schedules, but whenever we weren’t together, we e-mailed each other to see how our days were going.
We somehow managed to do a few great things over the course of the summer that I hoped would make it memorable for him. I even did my first vegan restaurant with him and the family, all thanks to his suggestion. As a meat-eater, I would have to say not half bad.
The most notable thing we both did together was attend a documentary premiere at The House of Independents in Asbury Park. “Destiny’s Bridge” was the story of Minister Steve Brigham, the residents of “Tent City” in Lakewood, and the minister’s untiring efforts to bring housing and dignity to those residents left homeless when their makeshift city was torn down.
But when it was time to leave for Rochester, I was feeling a bit melancholy. I didn’t want my time with him to end, but I knew that school was where he needed to be.
We all left New Jersey on Friday morning and made the 6½ hour road trip into upstate New York without any incident, checked into our hotel, and met Christian and his sister Anne Marie at his off-campus apartment complex (they had driven up in Christian’s car).
What a big step up from last year. His junior year, he had a single dorm room and shared a community bathroom with three other residents. We would unload the car and stuffed all of his belongings into this one room while trying to make the place look nice in case he had guests or study groups come over after we left.
Now, he was in a four-bedroom apartment that he shared with three other roommates. But to him the best part was that he had his own bathroom. I suppose that would be a big deal, especially for someone who’s had to share one the first three years at school.
On Saturday, we headed out to Bed Bath & Beyond for his linens, then on to WalMart for some food and other nick-nacks. We got back to the apartment, unloaded everything, and then hit The Owl House for dinner, one of our favorite restaurants near downtown Rochester. Afterwards, we all went back to his place and said our good-byes. The next time we would be up there would be in early October for Parents Weekend. . .our “last” one of those, too.
As we travelled back home on Sunday, I began to think about how far Christian had come in his life and how quickly the last three years of school had gone for him. This was the last time we would be moving him in at school. The next time we would come up to move furniture, it would be in May to move him out and back home (or wherever life may take him).
It made me kind of sad knowing that after this year, there wouldn’t be any reason for us to go back to Rochester ever again. We had so many great family moments up there with him. All of his Off-Broadway-On-Campus shows that he performed in (he still has two more shows his senior year). . .when we took him under the big tree near Gilbert Hall his freshman year to calm him down when he realized that we would be leaving him up there all by himself. . .all the great performers and activities we shared in for the last three years during Parents Weekend. . .Jason Alexander. . .Kristen Chenowith. . .
Yes, thirty-eight first days have come and gone. But one bright spot associated with this “last”. . .no more FAFSA forms to fill out. . .AMEN! Good luck, buddy, from your biggest fan!
You can find the entire Jersey Shore Retro blog here. Also, you can follow Kevin Cieri’s blog entries on his Facebook page, “Jersey Shore Retro” as well as on Twitter at @jsretro.