Several years ago, I wrote this from Austin, TX, when my the Hubster and I joined our eldest son for orientation as he began his freshman year at the University of Texas. The boy, no longer a boy, has since transferred to Lamar University, joined a research group, is publishing groovy engineering stuff, and will graduate in May of 2014. Oh, and he’s also getting married. (I’m sure I’ll be blogging about that, too. Fair warning.)

Anyway, for all you parents whose kids have left the nest for higher education, here’s my take on the new college mom experience:

We’re officially Longhorn Parents! I’m excited and thrilled and trying not to hear Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide” lyrics in my head. How did this happen so fast? Where did the time go? I so want to enjoy this experience and learn all I can! I’m a COLLEGE MOM!

However. Comma. Pause.

So far, being a College Mom entails hiking across the August sun-baked campus behind a chirpy kid named Arturo, who walked the ENTIRE time with his hand held high above his head and stuffed into a giant “Hook ’em” foam thingie. Folks, after 50 yards of carrying my own friggin’ purse, I was tempted to shove it (the purse, not Arturo) into one of the thousands of recycling cans that are on every flat surface of the city of Austin. (I’m all for the environment and I can read “Bevo says recycle“, but Lisa says that she’s gotta hang on to those complimentary cocktail vouchers in the aforementioned purse. Priorities, yo.)

We continued on the Longhorn Parents’ Death March Stroll. Arturo with hand raised high, I with numb fingertips and ever-growing resentment, the Hubster wearing an “I tol’ you” face which I will explain later in this broadcast.

As we walked, Arturo helpfully pointed out all the beautiful architecture, which I had to recall from memory since my vision had suddenly developed that squiggley mirage quality that only occurs in FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST I WONDER IF BOILING ONE’S OWN VEINS CAUSES CANCER heat. I’m going to have to take Arturo’s word for the stunning cornices of the Tower, as my mind is consumed at the thought of running down the sidewalk and plunging into the obviously not-public and off-limits to crazy-ass hick moms who mistake the landscaping as a cement pond fountain.

Right now, I’m sitting in another mind-boggling, brain-numbingly boring seminar where this chick is talking about Internet Safety. (Yes, you heard me. Someone is trying to teach the Facebook-addicted mother of not one, not two, but FOUR video-game/computer freaks a little something about the internet. I shit you not.) BONUS: Maybe I’ll soak up enough air-conditioning to hike back to our hotel where I plan to die freshen up.

Okay, so it hasn’t been all that bad. Yes, it is hot. Yes, Arturo was borderline Richard Simmons-esque. And, yes, the fine for jumping in the cement pond is steep, just in case any of you wondered about that sort of thing. BUT, the college kid just joined back up with us and he’s met some cool people and learned a lot about the campus and his field of study. There art thou happy. I’ve effectively staved off any mention of those things that are inappropriate for a mother to cry out at her grown son because she’s afraid of the unknown. There art thou happy. There’s another lady in here who just snarled at her hubby that “it’s too mother-fucking hot in this place” without really caring that I heard her. She’s totally going to be my new BFF, I tell ya. There art thou happy.

Seriously, though:
I’m only making fun because the Hubster told me this morning that I was “such a white girl” because I was all eager about our “experience”. (This was back when my hair looked kinda pretty and less like Janis Joplin on a heroin bender.) He told me that we should skip all the seminars and just hang out in the hotel pool. Henceforth, we do it the Messkin way. We’re hitting the highlights, the free Longhorn gear, and the complimentary cocktails. I’m gonna give up my white girl status until this is over.

Freckle count?