Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Daughter is a TENNESSEE VOL!

Okay, when exactly did this happen? When did I turn the corner? This morning as Chelcie and I made our way to UT for freshman orientation, it hit me. Chelcie and the students were herded in one direction, while I was absorbed into the mass of "helicopter parents" who all looked more like MY parents than I care to admit. Surely I could stay with my daughter. I mean, I'm a 'cool mom.' I won't interfere or get in the way. I won't ask asinine questions about irrelevant, hypothetical situations! I was slightly taken aback when the authorities made no distinction between me and "them." Why? Because I am now one of them. Me? Deep down I really believed that I could still turn the heads of the "older" college guys. Now I realize that the reason the young men may look my way is to see if I am a friend of their mom! Or maybe, just maybe, I actually taught them back in their elementary school days! I recall back in my early days of teaching, overhearing the "seasoned" teachers swapping stories about their former students who had moved on to college, marriage, children, and lives of their own. Poor dears, I'd think to myself, their best years are in the past. I'll never be one of THEM.

Anyway, "The 'Rents" as they will henceforth be referred, were separated from their young from the beginning and not reunited until the end of the day. Of course I KNEW why they were doing it this way. The 'rents simply get in the way! Much more progress can be made when the mommys and daddys are otherwise occupied. The UT Staff had to be gentle with them though. Afterall, they "pay their salaries!" They support the (nose in the air: sniff, sniff) You-ni-vah-city. Gotta keep the 'rents happy and assured that their progeny are safe and pampered in the way in which they've become accustomed. Further evidence to this is the fact that this year's freshman class is the highest academically performing class in the history of the University of Tennessee. The AVERAGE ACT score is a 26 point something, and their GPA average is better than a 3.7! No wonder the 'rents must be coddled! Their "investment" must be protected, and we, I mean, they expect a substantial return on investment.

As we progressed through the day, I was surprised by the cha-ching, cha-ching sounds that resonated off the walls. Meal plans, textbooks, school supplies, school fees, new wardrobe, housing fees, recreation fees, technology fees, new laptop, maintenance fees, and the list goes on and on and on! Looks like we're dining on rice and cereal for the next six years! Good-bye, Moe's, I'll miss you! From here on out I'll just have to dream of that familiar refrain, "Welcome to Moe's!"

I know that in the end, we'll be able to say it was all worth it. God has blessed us with a beautiful, talented, loving daughter who has already made her mom, dad, brothers and sister very proud of her! Is that "Rocky Top" I hear in the distance? Go VOLS!

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