Monday, October 28, 2013

Mother and child reunion

The oldest Huffman had been at her new college for around two months when the school invited us to its annual parents’ weekend, otherwise known as “Mom and dad, come visit and bring your checkbook.”
For a mom who had not seen her firstborn in about eight weeks — OK, 63.5 days — I was looking forward to the trip. Correction: I was pretty much dying to see our girl.
She’d left with barely a warning, and now she was living her new college girl life and I just had to clamp my own eyes on her to believe it. Plus I was sure she needed me for something.
Arriving in Boulder, Colo., we headed straight to see her at work at a local toy store. I figured her boss wasn’t expecting an emotional mother and child reunion between the Playmobil and Legos, so I tried to be cool when I walked in, but oh, seeing her again I had the best feelings in all the history of feelings.
I could hardly take my eyes off her. She looked good. She looked happy. She hadn’t starved, crashed her bike, gotten visible tattoos, dropped out of school or become homeless.
After she detangled herself from my mother-who-hasn’t-seen-her-daughter-in-63.5-days hug, we went to get lunch, where she even let me hold her hand for about 30 seconds, which was probably 23 seconds too long for her but three hours too short for me.
I wanted to pick her up and put her on my lap and squeeze her some more, only we had just gotten there and I was afraid she’d tell us to turn around and go right back home this instant.
She said she needed a bike fender and helmet, so she went back to work and we went to a bike store, where my husband got her fender and helmet plus the brightest bike light he could find.
It’s 400 lumens, my husband noted with satisfaction.
I’m not sure what a lumen is, but if 400 of them are illuminating our girl’s bike, that sounds pretty good to me. 
The next day her school invited us to an informational seminar about contemplative education, but we had bigger plans — a trip to SuperTarget.
We got fuzzy lined boots. We got shampoo. We got a can opener, a step stool, paper towels and a jumbo bag of Halloween candy. We got a furry rug for her floor and a hanging organizer for her closet. I tried to talk her into a handy underbed storage box but she declined. I guess College Girl is capable of figuring out her own underbed storage strategies from now on. Sigh.
We found a tool kit to install the bike fender that included screwdrivers and even a hacksaw. She said she wouldn’t need the hacksaw, but we got it anyway. Who knew when a fallen branch from a freak snowstorm would need to be sawed up for emergency kindling? She does live in the mountains, after all.
Cart filled, we stopped to get some breakfast at Starbucks inside the SuperTarget.
She and my husband ordered heated ham sandwiches.
Ahhh, she sighed, eating her sandwich.
Now I’m all warm inside, she said.
“We are, too,” said my husband.

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