It was very clear that he wanted no help from Mum to "decorate" his dorm room and was not open to my furnishing the place with any comforts. This was going to be his declaration of independence. We went up as a family, which was not what Ian had in mind. But I stood my ground for a couple of reasons. While by and large, this day was about him, in other ways it wasn't. This wasn't just Ian venturing forth to a new experience for him; this represented a transition for all of us. Also, Jeff and I both feel it is a valuable experience for our younger boys to get a glimpse into the new and exciting world of Going To College. I wanted to use Ian's day as an opportunity to demystify it for them. Being the firstborn, Ian didn't have that, and while he has always been intrepid about plunging into new things, he certainly did seem to harbor some apprehension about this new step.
We dumped everything in his room, and Ian barely tolerated my putting sheets on the bed, and TADA! the brand new quilt made by my Mum, Grammie H. (with some quilting help from Aunt Anne). She was inspired a quilt she saw for sale in the Orvis catalog.
If you know the one I mean, I'm sure you'll agree that this one is made even more attractive by the addition of the reds to the more subtle blues and greens. He's a big tall drink of water (as my great Uncle John once said of my 6'4"+ tall husband), and at about 6'3" only just fits on his bed. His room-mate is a friend from high school and is just about the same height. They make a handsome pair!
What you can see under the bed are the wheels of his long board (skate board). What you can't see is his humongous hockey bag with all the equipment. If you aren't up on these things, the University of Maine is big on hockey. Ian doesn't play on the team, but he does play recreationally, and if you ask me, he's really quite good. (Maybe because I'm his Mum?)
He really couldn't wait for us to leave, and was trying very hard to be patient. He expressed his anxieties by being antagonized by every breath his brother Evan (16yo) took. He was impatient with everything Evan did or said. I think this is because of all of us, he'll probably miss Evan the most. They do a lot together. Now Sean (13yo), on the other hand is probably the least distressed by Ian's absence. Now Evan will have more time (and hopefully more patience) for him. (Has anyone noticed that in naming our sons, we have named all of them forms of the name "John"? We didn't set out that way, and discovered it after we had named Evan, and an Irish friend declared that naturally, saving the best for last, we would certainly have another boy and name him Sean! Well, once that I learned that John means "gift from God", I couldn't very well not name my next sweet baby boy Sean, now could I?) I'll have to figure out how to let you see this picture enlarged by clicking on it. I don't know how yet. I'll just tell you generally what it says. This was a bulletin board in the hallway of Ian's freshman dorm. At the top, it says: "Laundry Tips & Tricks: Because Mom isn't Here Anymore....." It gave me a chuckle anyway. One of the tips is for putting your teddy bear in a pillowcase if a visitor to your rooms spills, er, something on it. Hmmm..... the valuable things you learn in college.