Land O'Lakes

Not in Kansas Anymore

We arrived late last night, well after dark, but managed to find our way out to the woods around Land O’Lakes after receiving directions from the charming young lady at the Hertz counter. We drove in a Mercury Avalon, and I got a reminder of how smooth and silent and fast American cars are compared to my Volvo, a car in which you know you are going over the speed limit.

The Cherry Capital Airport is so adorable it looks like a Barbie Airport. And, no, I am not inventing its name.

Coming on campus in the darkness, I followed Snowman from the parking lot to the Stone Center, where I will be staying for the next few days. The accommodations are somewhat less than luxurious, but the welcome was kind. Snowman immediately recognized a young lady in the lobby, a new friend “met” over Facebook.

I am happy to report that in the Ongoing Struggle of Parents to Embarrass Their Teenage Children as Much as Possible, I fell defeated at the hands of the young lady’s mother.

We retired to a tiny room, in which Snowman enjoyed a cot, and in which I will not be able to turn around until the cot leaves later today, after he moves into his dorm.

I awoke to the familiar voices of NPR, but baffled at the darkness surrounding me at 6 a.m. It’s now 6:38 a.m., and it’s still dark outside. Has there been a permanent eclipse? A local segment answered my question. After our time zone adventures of yesterday, I should have remembered that we are on the western edge of the Eastern time zone, strange for people who have been living on an edge so far to the east that it really belongs in the Atlantic time zone.

How will young people get up for school when the sunrise on September 6th is 7:10 a.m.?

This worries me.

At the moment I have no means of connecting to the Internet; I’m sure if I could I would be looking up sunrise times for odd dates throughout the coming semester and marveling that my boy will be expected to rise up in the dark and go to school with no mother to encourage him. How can this be possible?

Soon we will begin to meet more people, have breakfast in the cafeteria, stand in lines for registration. I will hand in the forms that allow strangers to see to my child’s medical treatment if I cannot be reached. I find this mind-bending and heart-wrenching.

Soon my son will get out of bed, or off cot, and put on the uniform that will mark him as part of a new community.

We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore.

(Written at dawn, but posted much later, after a busy day and some wireless travails. More later.)

14 thoughts on “Not in Kansas Anymore”

  1. Oh, it’s all going to be okay, really it is. How beautiful is it there? Go for a walk on the lake, and if you can look at a campus map, go over to the boy’s lake–it’s much prettier, and would be a nice, calming motherly walk.

  2. I am so excited for your son and envious!
    I had to laugh because we are only 30 miles to the Central Time zone – so by the time Daylight Savings time is over, it will be between 7:30 and 8 when the sun rises. We go to school in the dark.

  3. Getting up in the cold and the dark…near impossible for me, a 50 y/o…but for a 16 y/o…only peers and friends who are also getting up will enable that to happen, I think…
    Glad you are there safe and sound. I hope the intro and get acquainted events are fun.

  4. I’m 30 minutes east of the western edge of my timezone – it does feel funny, doesn’t it!
    You’re doing great – hang in there. What a brave mom you are.

  5. How will young people get up for school when the sunrise on September 6th is 7:10 a.m.?
    here in Finland the sun rises so late in December it’d be pointless going out at all if you just went by the sun
    they have alarms in mobile phones and clocks etc and the roomies will help each other
    it’ll be ok – honest!

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