Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Last night I talked to my mother and my lady in separate conversations about my first day of college. An earlier conversation had led me to think about how my parents divorce affected me, and then my thought process jumped to the weekend at started THE Hampton University.

At that point my parents were living separate lives under the same roof. My father still slept in the master bedroom and my mother slept in the guest room. My father came and went as he pleased, and my mom frequently cried herself to sleep, and to be honest they both annoyed me. I was mad my father couldn't be discreet, and I was mad my mother couldn't get over it, but thank God my brother was there, because we tried to makes sense of this life altering experience with each other.

So by the time my big college weekend came around, I could not WAIT to get the hell out of there and start anew. I remember my father telling me that he had something to do on Friday, so he wouldn't be able to drive down, but he would meet me and rest of the family down in Hampton. So that night, my mother, my brother and I took that 3 hour drive from DC to Hampton, VA, and stayed in a hotel. I had always wondered how that ride to college from my parents would play out and somehow this scenario never made the cut. Still, I tried to let my excitement about college get me thru. The next morning, we drove to my dorm, and my father met us there, and that's when the awkwardness began.

My dorm room was tiny, and my roommate (now my good friend Sabin), was already there. He and his parents were joking around, and it just seemed like a loving, family atmosphere on their side of the room. Meanwhile, my mother was trying to make small talk with Sabin and his parents, to hide the fact that she and my father were barely making eye contact, let alone speaking. My father focused on me and asked me a million and one questions about whether I had all my materials. My brother just kind of sat around looking lost. On one hand I'm sure he was happy to finally get me out of the way, but on the other side, the cold reality that my parents were divorcing and his big brother was leaving, had to be setting in. As selfish as it sound, all I kept thinking was I can't wait for all of them to get the hell out of here, so I can start my college career.

When it came time for goodbyes, my father started by hugging me, looking me in my eyes and telling me I was in school to learn and play in that order. I saw him tearing up a bit, but of course he didn't let me see him all out cry. Then he left the room without speaking to my mother. My mother on the other hand was bawling, which was to be expected. I always suspected she was crying more because of the divorce, than she was for her first born son, but the tears continued nonetheless. My brother was also sad, but at 14, I'm sure he had a whole host of other issues I couldn't even understand. Still we had our talk, and just like that, my broken family was gone. Sabin's parents were still around a little while longer, and then laughed and joked with me and made me comfortable, but they were gone shortly too.

I really don't have a neat little bow to tie on this story it was just on my mind and I wanted to write this out a bit. I don't complain about my parents divorce anymore because at this point, I'm just grateful to have them living and very much in my life. But there are still some painful elements and this was one of them.


Janelle said...

What a touching story, my friend. I remember my mother being happy that my roommate was a Christian who would make me go to chapel every Sunday. hahahahahaaa

scout said...

Touching indeed. Reading that made me want to hug your mother and squeeze her tight. I know that I'm going to be an absolute mess when Miles leaves home.