Tuesday August 14, 2012
Tomorrow, Trent reports to UAB, early, for the Global Community Leaders retreat. Today, we spent most of the day together, transitioning to college student and parent. He bought his new shoes; I insisted on buying his books. He only had to purchase two. ( Thank you, Jesus and generous UAB friends.) We split the cost of lunch, pulling from our pockets what cash we had on hand.
I’m proud of the man he is becoming. He worked hard this summer to pay the balance of his tuition for this year. He asked me for nothing, saved 98% of what he made. We wandered up to the Honors floor to get the low down on parking for the retreat. Our contact wasn’t in, she was probably resting up for the next four days. The receptionist commented on how much she loved the name, Trent, and flashed a warm, motherly smile at my beautiful blue-eyed son. My mind flashed to a now 19-year-old vision: him, a small boy, in a creek, a “trent,” wading about. ( He turned 18 this summer.)
Another bright and friendly young man overheard Trent’s question at the desk and made his way out to us. He extended his hand, offered his name. He is the director of Study Abroad at UAB. Trent introduced himself and was cut short. “I remember you, Trent. You were in a workshop I led during orientation.”
Trent chatted on with the incredibly helpful receptionist about a message to leave for his Honors advisor and I talked on with the Director. “More than anything,” I whispered, “I so want him to be able to travel… He’s been to some pretty cool places. He wants to be ecologist.”
“Oh!” the Director gasped and nearly shouted over the ending interchange at the desk, “Trent, this summer we are going to the Galapagos…”
Trent, the grown one, looked at me and said, “I have to work a lot in the summer.”
“There are ways,” the Director inserted, “You should be on that trip with us. ”
I gave Trento the, How would you like that? glance.
“I have to work a lot, Mama.”
“There are ways,” whispered the older intrepid.
I thought about my instantly liked, always recognized, young journeyman: Japan, Costa Rica, Northern Mexico, Yucatan, Caribbean and remembered…There has always been a way, for you.