Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Nest Empties

ORN: M,T,W: 5,4,5 miles, respectively, all at 5/1

On Wednesday, we took Matt to
Wheaton College, where he starts his college career. It is an amazing and kind of awesome step as our youngest heads out the door.

We packed up on Wednesday morning and headed north for the 3 hour drive to the campus, 20 miles straight west of Chicago’s Loop. We were there a day before most freshmen arrived because he won an
ROTC scholarship and ROTC activities started Wednesday night and most of the day Thursday.

When we arrived, four current ROTC cadets met us in his dorm lobby and helped get his stuff moved to the 5th floor. That took about 10 minutes!!

While in the room, we had a nice moment. Thanks to
Michelle (or more specifically, Michelle’s father) I got the idea to give Matt a small set of hand tools and a tool case. Michelle shared with me earlier this summer how her Dad had done this for her and her siblings and now extends the same gift to his grandchildren. How cool!! So, I went shopping a few weeks ago, picked out what I thought were well-made and useful hand tools that will last for decades. In the room, I gave it to him. He was quite surprised and seemed pleased. Michelle, please tell your Dad that the great idea grows!!

Matt dismissed us from the dorm, as he wanted to get organized by himself. We met up again around 6pm, as the ROTC group had a pizza dinner for the new cadets and their parents. There were about 85 or so total for this event. We heard from the cadet commander (here with Gretchen; we were quite impressed with him), as well as several cadets. We got to mix with a lot of the existing cadets, getting a feel for what each year’s rigor holds for Matt. We also saw a well-done DVD of the 2006-07 ROTC activities. That was quite educational and useful for us. After the dinner and presentations, the current cadets grabbed the new cadets and took them to an ice-cream place near campus. Matt seemed to enjoy all of this and was mostly quite anxious to get started.

So, we said good bye and drove home, getting in around 1am. We felt good about leaving, as Matt is in a place where he can thrive. He’ll connect well there, academically, socially, spiritually…it all fits. He’ll be challenged, to be sure. I think he’s up for it.

Persevere. Matt sure will be.


Anonymous said...

They grow up way to fast. We take our middle daughter to college tomorrow.

Sarah said...

That's a big milestone for you and Gretchen too! Enjoy your empty nest, knowing Matt is in good hands. : )

Backofpack said...

My Dad will be thrilled. It's an exciting time of year for the new college kids. Riley has orientations next week, and starts the week after. We aren't getting the empty nest after all, as he is going to live here and commute, but I love the school he picked and feel good about having him home.

Congratulations, and enjoy that quiet house!

IronWaddler said...

Wow- a quiet house. Sounds like it was a good day.

David said...

Congratulations to all of you.

In our house the youngest goes back this weekend for his soph year. The novelty of seeing him off is gone and I look forward to the peace and quiet that returns when it is just me and Mrs. T.

Darrell said...

I see Matt has the music and movies packed! Priorities, I say!

It's very cool that you followed the tool thing. It is a great idea.