On The Road to University


Dear Family and Friends

Today Daniel and I drove his car, packed to bursting with all his worldly goods, down to San Diego. The past couple of days while he has been packing up, Sara has been doing her best to help. She has run upstairs, downstairs, outside, back and forth bringing him things and taking them away. She carried down most of his possessions, and packed up all his clothes, going over with him which clothes he should take, which he should leave, and what to wear when and with what. She has consulted over shoes, after shave, school supplies, and just about everything. At times he has lost patience and had harsh words for her, when her enthusiasm gets her going over the top, and she has collapsed in tears more than once in the past week. As she leaves to go to her room, he gives me the “what the heck did I do?” look, and I have tried to explain to him that he doesn’t understand how emotional a time this is for her.

He still can’t get it. So this morning the three of us hopped into the front seat, to take Sara to school before we got on the road. At school, she got out (Daniel, by the way, has been responsible for taking her to and from school most of the time for the past two years), and Daniel got out and as he gave her a hug goodbye, she couldn’t control herself and started to cry, hard. I went over to hold her and was caught in her mood, and started to cry, a little, as well. Daniel, my poor boy, stood there dumbfounded, not knowing what to do or what the hell was going on. I felt like I did the day Sara started kindergarten. I was sure that this was NOT going to happen. Hmmmm…. Not doing too well, but not too bad, either, considering, I guess.

Anyway, we started on the trip and the mood improved. Daniels car was so loaded that the hydraulic load adjusting mechanism in the car was taking as much as ten minutes to compensate for the lowriding Cadillac, and the shocks/struts are GONE in the car. We laughed and made merry for the eleven plus hours it took to make it to San Diego. I had printed out directions to the hotel, and the routing I had chosen continued down 5 to 56, where we crossed over to 15 and the hotel. Only ONE small problem. 56 is built on both ends, only they don’t connect. In the middle, for about fifteen miles, there is only a graded dirt road. I wasn’t exactly paying attention when the FREEWAY ENDS sign showed him the detour, and kept insisting that he made a mistake. Let me say that the dirt road, the potholes, the loaded car, the lack of shocks – it was ridiculous. I kept telling him slow down!”, “slow down!”, and although he was only going about 7 miles an hour, my butt was getting a beating, and the car was shaking like a paint mixer.

I started to laugh, and couldn’t stop. For the half hour or so we were bouncing along this road, the tears were streaming down my face, as he admonished me for not having good directions, for having chosen a hotel in the middle of nowhere(not really true) and various other ills, real or imagined.

I was turning blue from lack of breath. What will I do now to laugh so hard? Every time he threatens anything, I just reply, no problem, your Triton Plus Account (the UCSD campus m/c type bank acct that parents deposit funds into) will simply be closed. He gets frustrated and threatens something else, and I just say, no problem. The keyword now is “Triton Plus”. We parents need some kind of carrot to dangle. I guess we always can find one, too. God he makes me laugh.

After much bouncing and many miles we finally made it in, met up with Shlomo, and went out for dinner. Shlomo tried, in his inimitable way, to help Daniel after dinner by trying to pick up on a couple of young blondes. He approaches two good looking girls, maybe mid-20’s, and asks them “do you know where there is a disco for young boys around here?” The girls look at him like he’s lost his mind, replying “we’re not from around here!” and Daniel, as usual is walking away. But he has really grown, as he turns around, and gives a quick and loud retort, “Hey Dad, I didn’t know you were looking to find some young boys!” The girls cracked up, and so did he and then of course I did too, but quietly. We all had a good laugh. And I think we are all growing up as well. Anyway, in the am we are off to the dorms.

Goodnight, Happy New Year, and love to you all.