Friday, June 15, 2007

Accessories Sold Separately

My 16-year-old son, Andy, is at a Jazz Double Bass Camp at University of North Texas this week. In case you didn't know, UNT is one of the premiere universities around for studying jazz, and is home of the renowned One O'Clock Lab Band, among others. He is in a very small group studying under Lynn Seeton, who is the bass professor at UNT. A double bass is the upright bass that you might see in an orchestra or a jazz band. (He also plays bass guitar, but that's not what this camp is for). He's pretty pumped and from the text messages we've exchanged, he is learning a lot. (I've discovered that the easiest way to get your teen to respond when gone to camp is a TEXT message, NOT a voicemail. I don't think they even listen to those.)

We are going to pick him up this evening and hear a concert by the students as well as the professor. Andy's take on it is "Wait until you hear Lynn rip the bass. He's awesome." Should be a good time. I love jazz of any sort.

So, in preparation to taking him up to UNT on Sunday, I called to find out if he needed to bring bedding and towels, etc. I was told "No, they have linens." Now, you might think "linens" would include such important items as a PILLOW, wouldn't you? WELL, YOU WOULD BE WRONG. As we discovered when we entered his room and saw a neat pile of sheets and a thin blanket and even thinner towels, and NO PILLOW. One would think that if this important item was not included, they might have MENTIONED it in the phone call where I was inquiring about BEDDING. Of course that would be MY logic, but apparently not someone else's.

On the way back downstairs to try to score a pillow, we encountered THREE other moms toting PILLOWS in WalMart bags. I laughed out loud and exclaimed that I was apparently not the only one who made the foolish assumption that "linens" included a pillow. They kindly told us the location of the nearby WalMart, and advised us to also purchase a towel as the ones provided were not large enough to go around a teenage boy.

We made a quick run and got the needed items, no less, no more. Son was apparently very antsy and in no mood to get any snacks or anything extra. I was not sure whether it was his nerves at the prospect of being left at a college dorm full of strangers (he didn't know anyone there), or if he just wanted to be shed of the "parents" hanging around. In any event, we unloaded the stuff, he declined my offer to make up his bed, and kind of gave us the bum's rush out the door.

As we went through the exit door he was walking up to a group of young men on a sofa in the hallway to introduce himself. He's pretty comfortable meeting new people, and from all reports the week was great. It felt weird leaving him there alone, most likely a foreshadowing of things to come, since UNT is the college of choice at the moment.

Sigh. I really don't want my last child to be nearly grown and thinking of college . . . but I'm sure proud of him. Why does it have to be so bittersweet when they grow up?

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