In the spring of 2011, I posted a blog entry titled College Tour Day 1 – The University of Delaware. It was a recounting of the first day of a week-long college tour I took with my oldest kid. When I penned it in the hotel room that evening, I had invisioned, though by no means promised, writing a separate entry for each day of the trip. However, laziness prevailed and it was the lone accounting of the trip. Turns out I was prescient because my son decided to go to Delaware, where we dropped him off this past weekend to commence his Blue Hen journey.
It sucked. I mean dropping my kid off at college. To maintain marital harmony, I will not detail my wife’s near total meltdown in the car ride home for lack of having bought the correct bins for his dorm room at Target. She did a fabulous job getting him ready. I was actually fine until I got home and really until I woke up the next morning.
I usually wake up well before the rest of the family on weekends – usually about 4-5 hours before anyone whose age ends in the word “teen.” I love that quiet time to drink coffee, read the paper, catch up on work, etc. But, I also look forward to the moment when I begin to hear the showers running and toilets flushing upstairs because it means my family will be coming downstairs soon. Only, yesterday one of them didn’t. I’m too excited for words that he’s off on his college adventure. But, I’m not gonna lie; it really sucks to not have him around. I’m sure I’ll get use to it, but, (did I mention) it sucks for now.
In order to keep myself occupied and not get too depressed about my newly half-empty nest, I decided to do a full-on, cabinet clearing, drawer emptying clean-up of my home office. It was therapeutic. But, I also found something cool and fortuitous. In a file folder labeled “Letters from Bruce” I found a letter I wrote to my father during my first week of my freshman year at Penn. I also found a letter I wrote to the president of the Baltimore Orioles in 1992 begging him not to block baseball expansion to DC, promising him I’d never give up my Orioles season tickets if DC got a team. Oops, just kidding.
I’m not sure how the image will reproduce on whatever device you’re reading this on, but I have attempted to import my letter to my dad into this blog. You may need to open it on a real computer, not your iPhone. I found it most entertaining, as did my son. I sent it to him yesterday. Here’s what I learned when I read it:
1. I was a reasonably articulate 18 year old, though my typing skills seem much better suited for today’s word processing than for a 1980 IBM Selectric.
2. My potty mouth was just as bad then as it is now.
3. I was a bit of a nerd, expressing my excitement over 3-D molecular geometry and philosophy.
4. The measure of a man in 1980 was the number of watts per channel his stereo could throw off. I wonder if today’s youth has any clue what “watts per channel” means?
5. I really did try to play college baseball as a walk on, but, as predicted in the letter, didn’t make it very far.
6. We have made great advances in technology in the past 30 years with iPods replacing turntables and tape decks, but all that great technology has caused us to lose the art of letter writing. 30 years from now, I am guessing there will be no record of the communication I’ve had with my son this week as all of those text messages have already been deleted. That’s unfortunate.
One final note: Bob “Willie” Willcox never did deliver on that home-cooked meal. Willie – if you’re reading my blog, you owe me a home-cooked dinner!