Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bye, Ben

I can't believe how fast three months sped by. Seems like just yesterday when Ben walked off that plane from Peru.

Now he's all moved into his apartment at BYU, ready to conquer his first semester of college. Does he look ready?
I made him stop for a quick shot when we got to his dorm room. It took an inordinate amount of time to get him checked into the correct apartment. His roommate hadn't arrived yet, so after choosing which side of the room he wanted, we began hauling his stuff up to his room.

Heritage's class schedule was different from MPS this year, and while Hyrum and Eve had to return to class on Wednesday, Lily, Micah and I didn't have to go back until Monday. I counted that as a small tender mercy that allowed me these days with Ben.

We flew up to Salt Lake and I was able to devote my full attention for  3 1/2 days to getting him set up.  His room went from bare to this in just a few hours:
Since we flew, we spent much of our time at stores--Ikea, Target (three times, I think), Walmart, Costco--loading him up with canned food, warm bedding and enough laundry soap to hopefully last the semester. We got his books ordered on Amazon and from the BYU bookstore. We picked out BYU gifts for his siblings at home. We walked through the Wilkinson Center, and he even got hired for a job working in the CougarEat.

We also had time to play.

We saw two movies, La La Land and Arrival, both of which I highly recommend. It was the second time seeing Arrival for me, and I understood it so much better the second time. In fact, I loved it the second time. The message in that . . . one of my favorites of the year for sure. And La La Land? Wow. Just wow. The original music. The choreography. The story. The flow of everything. The colors. Just wow. Loved it. Another of the year's best for me.

We drove around Provo in the snow. One night was particularly beautiful with the flakes falling as we circled the Provo City Center temple.

Beautiful to be sure, but too cold to get out of the car! Ben kept saying, "What have I done and where have I gone?" I know he'll get used to it, but I hope not too much, because I want him back in AZ after four years at school.

Next morning, his apartment complex looked like this. Yeah. Spectacular. But it was so cold. So. Stinking. Cold. Glad I rented 4x4 Jeep Patriot of the weekend. I needed that 4x4 more than once.

I left the hotel about 9 am Saturday morning, stopped for a quick purchase at Target, then swung by his apartment to take him to campus for orientation (his buddy brought his bike up on Sunday, so he was still transportation-less for another day). I was so excited for him the entire time we were there together.
 As we pulled up to the curb at the drop-off area, I was still ecstatic for him. College was a great time in my life--where I first began to understand myself--and I can't wait for Ben to start that adventure. He asked me why I was getting out of the car, and I said I needed a last hug before I left. That's the only time I felt that tightening in my throat--the one that comes when I'm leaving one of my babies at a milestone in their lives. Ben's tight squeeze and smiling face pushed that lump away quickly, and as he almost ran through the cold to the warmth of the ballroom, I couldn't help smiling to myself.  He's ready for this. And he's gonna knock it out of the park.

Watch out, Provo. Ben's in town.

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