In My Room


It was one month ago that we arrived in Chicago with a car full of boxes and a truckload of UPS cartons already waiting in storage.

For months before that fateful day in September when we released our precious daughter Savannah to all the joys and tribulations of college life, my daughter and her loving and patient mother made trip after trip to malls across the far lands of New Jersey to purchase every conceivable item one might possibly need for college life.

There were continual ruminations throughout the house about bedding and the need for anti-bedbug protection followed by mattress protection supplemented by foam cushioning to produce extra comfort and lastly an additional layer to protect my delicate daughter from the heat of the foam.

By the time they were through a six inch high mattress had become a luxury endeavor of over fourteen inches. The Four Seasons Hotel couldn’t match the attention to detail in the bed making. Then on top of this, were the Palais Royal sheets with a duvet cover and extra pillows.

Besides the bedding trip after trip to Bed Bath and Beyond was made to purchase desk lamps, irons, ironing boards, hangers, waste baskets, shelving, vacuum cleaner, soap, laundry baskets, etc.

We arrived at the University of Chicago dorm prepared for every conceivable need and malady. One more quick trip to target was required for some last minute extras, and by late morning we had carried hauled and trekked over forty boxes up to a room with space for a bed and a desk and little else.

Her roommate was far more sagacious in her shopping and had quickly with the help of her parents completed her side of the room before we had begun unpacking our first box.

Her roommate and Savannah are a perfect pair. How lucky for them, but that is a story for a later date.

So, in the early Fall of a beautiful September day in Chicago my wife in her usual patient and ever gracious way slowly began the task of making Savannah’s bed and helping carefully unpack each box and place every item of clothes and housewares in a neat and careful spot.

Hour upon hour they unpacked and finally near the end of the day they were finished. There were some items to be returned but in all Leslie had carefully and beautifully made the bed, hung pictures and shelving, cleaned the bathroom, folded towels, and otherwise made Savannah’s room a near perfect example of a caring mother’s need to help her daughter nest comfortably in her new space away from home.

We said our tearful goodbyes and left Chicago only to return one month later, for the annual if not extremely premature Homecoming parents weekend. We had barely said goodbye and were each enjoying our freedom, when we were called back into service to reunite with our daughter and her university.

On Friday morning we climbed the stairs of her dorm to her room, knocked on the door, and were welcomed in by our daughter.

It was as if a bomb had exploded! The carefully made bed with Palais Royal sheets was in a complete disarray. Clothes and books were everywhere. Items thrown casually around the room and the desk barely had room for a computer. The room was a total mess.

How could this happen in one month. Just at that moment Savannah’s roommate’s parents arrived, and we both looked at each other in shock.

By the end of the day the parents had pulled out the vacuum, freshly made the beds, cleaned the bathroom, and slowly once again you could make your way around the room.

Oh Savannah, how happy I am for thee, because I came from New York, and you are clearly not on my knee.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Oh, nostalgia! I too departed for Chicago with my parents 13 years ago for the same exact trek you made with your daughter. My dorm is now demolished and a business school stands in its place at 58th and Kimbark, but what an experience. Good or bad or a mixture of both, she is bound to have the experience of her lifetime. I know I did.

  2. Love the build up to Parent’s Weekend, smiled all the way through. Delicate daughters require managed care.

  3. You are a loving father and mother. Sounds like Savannah needs to learn how to pick up after her self. I thoroughly enjoy you blog- your perspective on life is amazing

  4. My brother just went through the same thing — dropping off their second daughter in another Ivy League establishment back East, towered over by Bed Bath & Beyond boxes. Now, a few months later, a business trip has brought him back East. Two daughters descend on his hotel room, thrilled to bounce on clean sheets and enjoy meals not involving instant ramen!

    Beautiful daughter, if that is she in the photograph.

  5. A splendid story, once more!
    I have a daughter, now a mother, me a grandfather..
    I can see you are a neat and tidy person.
    Your wife a perfect match.
    My best friend and now ex-wife was all these wondrous features. Tidy and neat. Really tidy and neat.
    I once pulled back the door of bedroom as i was leaving for work. I looked at back, then started off, again.
    Pam asked” What were you looking at?”
    My reply ” The checkout times. All hotels post them..”
    I felt we had a house not a home.

    i am not a member of “The Tidy-Kinns Fraternity”.
    My daughter has followed in my way..thankfully.
    Her kids very happy. Extremely happy and creative.
    I know the feeling of a daughter gone from the nest,
    flapping her wings and flying.
    Now is the time to pray that wise choices will be made.Forget about the mess. It’s her mess.
    Be proud. I am.

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