Posted June 10, 2010 by jimhigley
To the University of Iowa Student / Parent Orientations Team:
I think I hate you. O.K., maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But I’m a little miffed at you for catching me so off-guard yesterday as I sat in a big room in the University of Iowa’s Student Union with several hundred other parents of incoming Freshman learning about the ins and outs of life in Iowa City.
Our kids were just taken away to work with advisers on their schedule while we sat there learning about how to pay our bills, financial aid, student work opportunities and safety. Then, before a break, you told us to pull out a sheet of paper in our folders and write a quick note to our soon-to-be-Freshman kids. You said you’d deliver the notes to them sometime during their first few weeks at school.
So, always being one to follow directions, I pulled out my sheet when the break began and started my note.
I got as far as writing her first name before I realized that my eyes were watering, my arms were quivering and I needed to blow my nose. And, it wasn’t long before I noticed the woman to my left with tears dropping from her cheeks onto the paper and the dad in front of me closing his eyes to hide his emotions.
That was mean, University of Iowa. It’s only June. We’re not ready to deal with all of these emotions quite yet. We have the entire summer ahead of us – giving us plenty of time to ignore the fact that our kids are growing up, moving on, and leaving us to work through the void they leave.
On a positive note, the orientation was outstanding, exciting and refreshing.
Next time, however, you might consider handing out tissues!