Wednesday, September 29, 2010


by Jenni

My husband and I have found a way to have my son dropped off from his high school bus to a stop near Luther. He just travels up the hill and hangs out waiting for me to finish work (or class if I have a late class).

I am thinking of changing this arrangement.

Not because he's not welcome. Really, it's quite the opposite. While I'm sitting at work, my son is wandering around campus. During these wanderings, he has slipped right into life on campus. He hangs out in the cafeteria, chatting with cashiers and friends of mine. He wanders back to Northwestern where I work. Sometimes he comes back to my office to "do homework" (which really means creating art on the community white board where my bosses ooh and ahh over his art) or going to another office where there is a candy jar. My son has spent time talking with a great professor about Minnesota Gopher football, cooking with the family of another awesome professor, getting playful choke holds from an office manager, talking cartoons with department heads.

Needless to say, I'm jealous.

When my son was in elementary school, I was always known as "Patrick's mom." That was my official name. As he grew older, children learned each other's names and I was at least, "Mrs. Lathrop." So far, on campus, at least I've kept my own identity and Patrick has been, "Jenni's son." I think that may have changed last week...and with someone my son has never met.

So, I'm sitting in class the other day and we're having a precept discussion. I used an analogy using an event between my son and myself. The professor seemed to like my analogy and asked my son's name. "Patrick," I reply, sure that my argument was interesting and the professor would defer to me for more amazing analogies in the future. My professor smiled. Then something dawns on me. My professor may not in fact remember me as anything but, "Patrick's mom." Why? Because that's his own name.

Full circle. I think I'm going to keep that kid off campus.


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