September 25, 2017

Fast paced dorm drop off

No sure if I mentioned the thought process behind our Boston itinerary, so I'm backing up the bus a bit on our end-of-summer travel log.  This might help you wrap your brain around our race against the clock trip.  

Our initial plan was to visit Boston before we dropped Laddie at college in New York.  The kids were excited.  It would be a long road trip, but we've survived long road trips before.  

Around spring break, Lad was told he needed to arrive at his new school Aug 7th for water polo.  We used that date as a set-in-stone guide.  We built our itinerary around it.  Early summer, Lad learned that only the returning water polo teammates were arriving Aug 7th.  I suspect the confusion grew from the fact that he is technically a sophomore, but is also a transfer student who hadn't played water polo at the college level yet.  At this time, the school informed him that he should arrive Aug 15th. 

Yikes.  Eight days made a big difference.  The high school boys were set to begin school BEFORE Aug 15th.  Translation:  no trip to Boston!

Our local high school announced in early June that it would meet to decide whether or not the start date for high school would be adjusted.  Our Boston trip hung in the balance.

When the vote was published that school would not start for our high schoolers until the 16th of August, I yanked the calendar off the wall and examined our options.  If we drove Lad out there, then Tank would have to miss freshman orientation.  This would be no big deal for most of my offspring, but Tank's anxiety levels tend to max out on the first day of school.  I wondered how he would function if he skipped this introductory half-day. 

I don't even think orientation existed back when Laddie launched his high school career in 2012.  Nowadays with freshman only in attendance, these newbies walk thru their schedule navigating the new hallways without any upperclassmen around to intimidate them.  

I explained to Tank that the only way our trip out east would work is if he was comfortable missing orientation.  I promised to walk thru the halls with him to map out where his classroom were located on the day we picked up his schedule.  He is my biggest history buff.  He wanted to see Boston, so he agreed. 

The trip was back on.

Coach introduced my next challenge.  He informed me that he couldn't possibly be away from work for a week or more.  Back to the drawing board.  Eventually I agreed to cut down our tour of Lexington and Boston to a short 3 days.  Add a day of driving there and back and a day to visit Boston College and travel to New York to drop Laddie off in New York and our itinerary was complete.  We opted to leave on a Thursday morning and race back on Tuesday, so the boys could start school on Wednesday.   

I questioned Lad multiple times about any information he might have concerning when he could get into his dorm.  Because his arrival was scheduled thru the athletic department and was slated to be earlier than the rest of the student body, I wasn't in the loop.  Instead the coach provided him with information.  

Remember the initial confusion over his arrive-on campus date?  Clear as mud.  I feared that we would get out there and discover that there was some kind of mix-up.  My heart always raced a bit when I opened the emails from his college directed to the parent community in general.  The dates in those emails weren't the same as the water polo team arrival dates.  Lad just kept telling me his information was good.  I believe he used the term 'relax.'  He could get in his dorm on the 15th.  'At 8 am?' I asked.  His 'yep' wasn't convincing. 

In the middle of our Boston College tour, Laddie got a text from a fellow teammate.  The team wasn't allowed in the dorm until 10:30 the next day - not 8 am.  Eddie groaned loudly when he heard this news.  Neither high school kid wanted to arrive home at midnight and jump out of bed for school the next morning.  

We arrived on campus minutes before the bookstore closed.  I shopped a bit, but Coach reminded me that Lad's siblings all still owned football t-shirts from his former college.  AND those t-shirts still fit.  I held off on filling a basket with sibling wear.

Our next stop was the dorm.  We poked our heads in and asked to speak to the man in charge of the dorm.  He was very friendly and welcoming.  Was it possible for us to take a peek at Lad's room?  I explained that he was planning on moving in the next day per his coach.  I held my breath to see if the dorm dude flashed any alarming facial expressions.  None.  

He didn't mind showing us the room at all.  People, I saw my opening and I made my move. 

'So do you think there is any wiggle room on what time Lad brings his stuff in tomorrow morning?'  I went on to explain our long drive home and the imminent start of high school.  'Well, how early would you like to get in?' he asked.  'How about 8 am?' I suggested.  He said he saw no problem with it.  

Then I took it a step further.  'Well, we have the van parked out front with all of his stuff in it and all of these available hands . . . we would LOVE to move him in right now, if that would be at all possible.'  I received a few looks:

        Lad gave me a look that shot daggers out of his eyes.  I translated it to say:  'Don't embarrass me!'

        Eddie looked as if he might bow down and kiss my feet.

        Coach looked like he had just remembered why he had married me.  I handle shit.  I ask the questions.  And if necessary, I push the envelope.  I inherited this super power from my mother.

The resident hall dude said he would check with his supervisor.  He stepped out in the hall to make the call while we checked out Lad's room.  A moment later he was back.  'No problem!'

Tossing stuff in Lad's room.  Possibly the quickest college drop off in history!
Reggie had chosen this moment to step into Lad's bathroom and, well, christen it.  I began handing out orders.  I told Curly to wait in the room so that when Reg surfaced, he wouldn't freak out thinking that we had left him behind.  Coach ran to pull the van as close to the door as possible.  It was all hands on deck.  We bolted for the elevator and positioned ourselves where Coach had agreed to park.  Mini, Tank, Ed, Lad, and I grabbed armfuls of stuff and darted back inside for the elevator. 

It was huge to unload the van when the halls were empty!
Lad wanted to attend a non-mandatory swim practice with his team that was happening in less than 10 minutes.  He dug into his stuff and pulled out a speedo.  Coach raced him over to the aquatic center while we dragged the last load up and locked his room.  He was going to sleep at the hotel with us, but our new plan for the morning was to simply drop off Lad and head for Chicago.  

After about three trips and a mere 25 minutes Lad's college crap was parked unceremoniously in his room.  Physically the white van was lighter.  When Lad returned to the hotel after practice and shared that he thought his teammates were all really cool, emotionally the weight on his shoulders seemed lighter.  Knowing we could bolt first thing in the morning, the air seemed clearer.  

We arrived home at 8:20 pm the night before school started.  It was a world wind of a trip that I hope to never replicate.

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