Illuminating College Education for Mom

Our friend Pat writes in about an illuminating experience . . . with an iPhone. Of course I also have an iPhone (I mean, I have a blog, so of course I have an iPhone, so I can post to you from anywhere!) Here's Pat's story:

As my youngest son marched across the stage in his cap and gown to retrieve his diploma last weekend, I had a flash of the first bit of illuminating knowledge I gained from his college experience.

It came the day after my husband and I helped him move into the freshman dormitory room he would share with two strangers for the next year. For weeks, I had checked and rechecked the lists of what we needed to schlep the 500 miles from home. Apparently No. 2 son didn’t pay much attention then or during the flurry of activity of helping him unpack and put things away.

But later, after his parents had retired to a nearby hotel and the sun went down as he was hanging out his new quarters with a group of kids he’d just met, one of them said: “Hey, I like your nightlight.”

“Whaaaaaat?” he replied.

When his new friend pointed out the simple LED apparatus I’d left plugged into the wall to light up the room after dark, my son jumped up and yanked it out. He never shared what he told his guests, but since this is the child who chose the password “crazymom” for me, I think you can imagine the possibilities.

When we arrived the next morning to take him to brunch before heading back to New Hampshire, he tossed the nightlight into my purse and said, “The nightlight thing is NOT working for me. You HAVE to take it home.”

I was confused. I told him he'd appreciate it when either he or one of his roommates returned to the room at night to find someone already in bed asleep. “This way no one has to turn on the overhead light and wake anyone up,” I added with my biggest Mom-knows-best smile.

He looked at me as if I had just arrived from another planet (a look I’ve become all too familiar with, I might add).

Then his older brother jumped into the fray and slapped open his cell phone. “THIS is what college students use to find their way in the dark, Mom,” explained No. 1 son. “They don’t use nightlights; they use the light from their cell phones.”

And yes, that was the very first inkling that Mom was going to learn some many things during this college experience, too. Looking back, I probably should have been far more concerned about night-life than night-lights, for example. But all that was forgotten the moment I heard his name announced from the stage and proudly felt the significance of another major milestone passed: both children graduated from college but still the lights of my life.

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