Over the past year, the boy, his father and I have traveled to various University open house events, to allow the boy to find his collegiate home for the next four years. In my heart of hearts, I wanted him to attend a certain school twenty miles from home–far enough away to give him the “college” experience, but close enough to home in case of an emergency. But as my luck prevailed, he chose Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio…three and a half hours away.

Three and a half hours…?

“Considering the distance away, this school better be all that and a steak dinner…” I thought when he signed his acceptance letter to be mailed back, including my $200 deposit. But the school’s location does have one or two things going for itself.. first of all, the school is located an hour southeast from Columbus, OH where a large contingent of first cousins live-not to mention my brother and his wife. If problems should arise that he can’t get a handle on, he has a strong network of family ready and willing to assist him–until his father and or I can get there.  Secondly, the school is located in a very beautiful part of the state. Unlike his hometown, the campus sits high upon rolling hills, which the students must traverse to get to classes. His father and I especially like this as the boy will finally get some much needed exercise. As the boy likes to say, “The Freshman fifteen will be in weight loss due to walking everywhere…” Let’s hope this is true (tho not holding my breath).

Wednesday night, the boy and I drove down to the campus so he could attend their “Preview” day aka Freshman Orientation Thursday morning. Almost immediately they separated the students from the parents, sending them off to “meet” other students and learn more about their future. Meanwhile, us parents had our own orientation to the way things go on campus. One of the ideas they kept stressing to us was to “Care” about your child–but from a distance. Care meaning, Communicate, Ask questions, Resources–remind them to manage their time better and Encourage them to succeed.

When I arrived, I had a long list of questions. By the time we left yesterday, all my questions were answered, save two–primarily because the person who coordinates the area was on Summer break. Instead I was given an email and said, “She’ll respond to you fairly quickly…” In addition, the boy believes he’s found his college roommate (they exchanged emails and have been talking back and forth) and a place to call home for the next four years.

“Well, what did you think?” My husband asked. “I hate to say this, given the distance and such, but he’s going to thrive there…I have no doubt,” I replied. “I told you it was a good school…” He replied. “There was never a question about that. You know me, I don’t like to drive on the e-way at night. But, as for the faculty and staff? They will be holding him with kit gloves and keeping him from falling through the cracks. I had a great conversation with his Mentor–who sought me out, I might add who explained the program to me from top to bottom. Later she met with him too and he told me on the ride home, he was planning on calling her “Mom” which I let slide, ha. But you know, in two months time, he’ll know everyone and everyone will know and like him too.” I explained. “Now I just have to get used to the distance and figure out how to afford another cell phone for him to take…”

Yes, Muskingum University in New Concord, OH… The Muskies (their mascot is a tough fish), live Magenta (my all time favorite color even before we had ever heard of the name Muskingum and the only school in the nation with that color palate) and Gray (school colors), Welcome to our family.

Now to get everything in order before August 25–when we drop him off and run/drive away toward our new surreal futures…


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