One week in

We didn’t cry. Well, we didn’t cry a lot. And here we are, a week  into our empty nest, still mostly dry-eyed. We’re still all right.

Thanks for asking.

It’s not as if everything suddenly screeched to a dead-silent halt around here, either. Luke’s still the topic of the day. It is, after all, his first week of college. That’s a milestone. It’s newsy.

We text him, probably too much. He texts back, evidently when he gets bored. He even texted his Mom, unprompted. Don’t know what to make of that.

We’re still working from home, Mary Jo and I. I’m still looking for something a little more stable. That’s still a pain.

Brodie’s still a dope. The blasted frog is still stinking up the joint. If the house isn’t quite as messy as it was with a teen in our midst, it’s not exactly staged for a sale yet, either.

Of course, there is some newness, too, to process. I went to Kroger the other day. Had to buy only two potatoes for dinner. I’ve moved over a place at the kitchen table. Too much real estate there to handle.

Three days ago, I noticed milk in our fridge that had expired. Unheard of in the past 19 years.

I had to mow the whole dang lawn last weekend. Almost killed me.

His underwear’s not getting mixed up with mine in the wash. His room is, relatively, clean (thanks to Mary Jo … though we still have some sandblasting to do). The loveseat in the living room that was always filled with his backpack and other assorted school junk? You can actually sit there now.

Nobody’s playing the piano. Nobody’s blaring music behind closed doors. I don’t have to move the seat up in my car.

But we’re OK. Really.

Luke (right) and his roomie Jack (a friend from high school) in their new digs last Thursday.
Luke (right) and his roomie Jack (a friend from high school) in their new digs last Thursday.

We saw him off Thursday, a cyclone of a day that included the drive down to Georgia Tech, the unloading, dealing with screwed-up keys, walking up four flights of stairs — many times — unpacking, setting up his tiny room and saying goodbye. The goodbye was what we were afraid of, but after that day (it was like 100 degrees, too), the sendoff was kind of anti-climactic. Luke played it as cool as a nearly 19-year-old can — which can be pretty damn cold — and that kept us from getting all verklempt.

Plus, we saw him again just a couple days later, on Sunday at Convocation, where the freshmen all put on their RAT caps, listen to a bunch of speeches about what faces them and officially enter their world.

Next time we see him? The football home opener is against Mercer on Sept. 10. Seems like a long ways away.

We’ll be all right.

***

We’re still dying to know what he’s doing at any given hour, of course. We can hardly stand it. We want to have a say, still, or at least put out a few more words that he can ignore. But if we have any say at all, it’s not much.

Example No. 1: We tried to talk to him about his schedule. We suggested he get with an adviser. Instead, Ol’ Cool Hand (a former coach used to call him that) did it himself and ended up with a schedule that only a dumb freshman could make.

Math, Computer Science, English, Health, Chemistry and a chem lab, starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 10 at night.

That’s just Monday.

He has another bear of a Wednesday (though he’s done relatively early, at 7 that day). He has no classes Thursday. None. He has five more classes on Friday.

Seems a little uneven to me. But I imagine he’ll handle. He kind of has to handle.

I will say this: I didn’t have one day at Arizona State like his Mondays. And, if I did, I skipped most of it. Or slept through the first half.

Not my first sign that Georgia Tech, for him, is not going to be like ASU was for me.

***

The picture at the top of this post is a sea of more than 2,800 freshmen at McCamish Pavilion on Sunday. More than 30,000 applied to get into Tech. I don’t know math, but I think those are pretty long odds to make it. Kid did good.

***

Here a shot of the program at Convocation. (Click to enlarge.)

convocationA couple things to note:

1.) “Scion of the South” in the alma mater. I love it. Duke may object. Maybe Vandy. Whatever.

2.) The line “To Hell With Georgia” in the fight song, “The Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech.” The line is well-known throughout the state. Anyone who knows college football knows what THWG on a t-shirt means. It’s also a phrase that’s traditionally placed on the back panel of the RAT caps, like this:

To
HELL
with
georgia

Bold, all caps HELL. Lower case georgia. Helluva thing, that.

***

In “Ramblin’ Wreck,” there’s one reference to clear whiskey, and another to taking a bell, turning it upside down, filling it with rum and 3,000 pounds of sugar, using the clapper to stir it around and drinking like a maniac.

Maybe Tech and ASU have something in common after all.

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