new student weekend
I always enjoy new student weekend at the minnversity. The past couple days I've shared a parking lot with freshparents loading belongings to the middlebrook hall dorms. I try to point them in the right direction and offer a friendly face (though parents can be a little suspicious of helpful but shabbily-dressed strangers claiming to be professors). Seeing parents on campus reminds me of Garrison Keillor's bit on his minnversity move-in day in the 1960s. He described a bunch of funny looking people packed into an old car, carrying him along with a mix of excitement, embarrassment, and sheer terror. My dad drove me to Madison in the 1980s, towing a u-haul full of guitars and perkins dinnerware in his trusty ford fairmont. Dad was cool, but I was a wreck anyway.
I hope my kids will attend college and, if so, I'm looking forward to gently humiliating them as they try to cultivate an image with their new roommates. Think about it. Move-in day is really a parent's last crack at embarrassing their children before they become full-fledged adults -- by the time they return home for Thanksgiving, that ship has sailed. So, I'm going to savor the moment. I've already got the outfit: bright yellow boots, perhaps paired with "obscene" running shorts from the 1970s. I'll be singing "All You Need is Love" in my karaoke voice -- which went over really well on a recent family trip to Wendy's -- happily carting boxes past the polo-shirted normal parents. Nah, I wouldn't do that... I promise to be cool, guys. :)