Thursday, August 27, 2009

Twenty Years Ago

All of these people sending children off to college has me remembering. The following happen twenty years ago almost to the day.

"Mahhhhm, we can't take Donna to school then. That's when we have the big pep rally for the boys and I HAAAAAVE to be there. I am A CHEERLEADER afer all and I HAAAAVE to be there!" she whined and flounced off.

Just one of the minor/major problems of juggling the schedules of the oldest daughter ready to go off to college at San Angelo State and youngest daughter going into her eighth grade year as one of the cheerleaders in a small school where the junior high and high school cheerleaders did a lot of things together.

There was a lot of discussion on what to do and how to do it.

I knew I needed to be there for Amy. She had worked hard to become a cheerleader and this was their first big event. But my Miss Independence, who suddenly didn't want to go, was reluctantly heading off some 450 miles to college and I really needed to be there too. What to do, what to do?

It was finally decided that we would pack Donna's Mercury Linx and she accompanied by Carrie, the middle daughter going into high school, would drive down during the day and that Robert, Amy and I would leave after the pep rally driving all night with the rest of Donna's stuff to unload when the dorms opened the next day.

They left early enough that they could arrive just before sun down in San Angelo and check into a motel at which I had made room reservations. Little did I realize that the motel wouldn't let them check in as minors or some nonsense like that. In the days before cell phones it took Donna calling the sheriffs office to contact me at the pep rally to call the motel to okay them checking in on my credit card and that I would be coming.

The pep rally, bond fire, ice cream social and clean up ended about 10:00 PM and we
headed out on our six or seven hour drive. We however didn't make it to San Angelo. As we passed through Brownfield about 3:00AM I felt the car slow and stop. I opened one eye to ask why we were stopping and Robert announced he couldn't drive any further.

He had pulled in to a very seedy looking motel, got out and checked us in. Sleepily I walked behind him to the door of the motel room knowing we were only going to be there a few short hours and then on our way again.

I didn't sleep in that motel room, although Robert did. When he turned on the light the orange carpet and bed spread suddenly disappeared under the face boards. I didn't even step in. Amy and I just went back to the car and curled up to sleep in less than total comfort.

Four hours later, Robert came out and our journey continued. We met up with Donna and Carrie.

The rest of moving her in is a blur. I'm sure we did some unpacking and arranging of items. I'm sure I gave more input than necessary or wanted, and I'm sure there was hugging and tearful good-byes when we left. I don't remember those.

I do remember thinking though, "How can this be? Where has the time gone since I gave birth to that little red haired girl?"

Twenty years later, I'm still wondering, "How can this be? Where has the time gone since I gave birth to that little red haired girl?"


Sharon Lippincott said...

Oh Patsy, what a lovely story. It's been twenty years almost to the day since my daughter went off to college too, though that move involved only 15 miles. Love your sense of humor and the way you move your story right along.

Ida said...

20 years? Doesn't seem that long ago.

Ladykli said...

Thanks for sharing! I don't think I would have slept in that motel room. Though it was smart of Robert to pull over. It's always hard to figure out what to do when your childrens' activities conflict. Yours seemed to have worked out in this instance.

Carrie said...

I had forgotten the hassle to get checked into the motel and your scary hotel. It is hard to believe that it was 20 years ago.

LceeL said...

Remembering ... becomes more and more important, over time. Too soon, though. Too soon.