Friday, October 21, 2011

Their Turf

We've spent some pretty special weekends during the past six years with each of our boys on their college campuses. They've taken a bit of planning on our parts, what with arranging time off work and travel plans. The older boys started college when Joey was a high school freshman, so during those years we needed to line up places for him to stay, and rides to and from football practices and games before he could drive. There were hotel  and dinner reservations to make, football or concert tickets to secure, activities to think about and weather to plan for.  I often cooked or baked something to bring along so they each could enjoy a taste of home. We otherwise loaded the car with seasonal items such as coats, hats, gloves and boots; things they may have overlooked as they packed up during a warm week in August.

These weekends took some planning on the boys parts as well. For as excited as we were to go see them, they seemed appreciative and genuinely happy when we showed up. It was obvious that they put some thought into what we would do. They showed us around campus and around town. We were introduced to their friends, their friends parents and their professors. To good music and cool cafes. They showed us the best places to get hot dogs, sub sandwiches, burritos, steaks, burgers, pancakes, pizza, cups of coffee or great beer. We saw where they lived, studied, hiked and played. We were able to experience snapshots of their college town and campus life.

Looking back, it's been fun to see that traditions have formed surrounding these weekends. We have almost always done certain things or eaten at certain places from year to year. There are requisite parental runs to Costco, Walmart and Target. Trips to the mall or REI. Marc and I have both found things around their towns or on their campuses that we enjoy doing while the boys are in class, taking a nap or otherwise engaged.

I had kind of a lump in my throat during the last weekend I spent with Patrick before he graduated. At his school they have separate Mom and Dad Weekend's, so Marc and I were each able to have a couple days of good one-on-one time with him each year. At the University of Montana, where both Peter and Joey attend(ed), it's a Family Weekend. Last weekend was Joey's second. Just a couple more to go and I will have a lump in my throat about that campus, too. Peter was such a great sport. Although he still lives in Missoula, he kept reminding us that it was Joey's turn, allowing and encouraging his brother to make the plans and call the shots.

What a great opportunity for parents to see the adults that their children are becoming. We've returned home each time feeling so proud. I'm hoping they want to continue with some kind of similar weekend tradition, even after graduation.

On the website Make It Missoula I wrote guessed it.....Family Weekend this week. To look at some photos and take a quick read, click here: GRIZ Family Weekend

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!



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