7 Flights of Stairs
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
My daughter’s dorm room is located on the seventh floor of her building. Up until two Sundays ago when we returned her to college, we had always taken the elevator to get to her room, no matter how much luggage we were toting. But that day it was extra crowded and so many kids, parents, baggage and boxes were being squeezed into that little elevator. So for safety’s sake we decided to use the stairs. I confess I happen to be one of those individuals who, even if a place is only one floor up, will hop into the elevator, my preferred mode of indoor transportation, rather than use the stairs. So once the decision was made to haul everything up by foot, I was prepared for some major huffing and puffing, possibly even a little chest pain (something I am not unfamiliar with when overexerting myself). But to my surprise, I trotted up those 7 flights of stairs like a seasoned mountain runner (well, almost... more like a mountain runner taking a brisk walk - lol), even loaded down with 2 gallons of bottled water, a backpack and a laundry bag stuffed with clothes (how I managed to not drop anything on the way up continues to baffle me because my middle name is “butter fingers”)! I know this may not seem like a big deal to some, but before Sparkpeople, before losing the weight and getting into a regular exercise program, this climb, even empty-handed, would have wiped me out completely (big WooHoo for Sparkpeople!)!!!
So after unloading all the bags and luggage in the room, how does a parent prolong the visit with college daughter? I did several things: checked out the recently added room decorations, which included a cute little desk lamp with legs and high heels as part of the base, but no light bulb, on the walls some photo montages of old and new friends, and assorted plastic milk crate “shelves” filled with toiletries, books, tissue box, dishes and stuffed animals; helped her unpack clothes and make the bed – it’s amazing how naturally conversation flows when you’re doing mundane chores together. Instead of having to squeeze information out, it was happily volunteered.
And so now I know, among other things, which dorms are the wild party dorms, the ones the cops frequent (not her dorm); how often after lots of partying, kids have gotten “sick” in that little elevator we did not ride that day; how the dorm washing machines really mess up your clothes (although I’m still not quite sure what that means); all the movies that have been viewed because one of her buddies has a huge collection (including many horror films she was never allowed to watch at home); that psychology, along with her other courses, is a fascinating subject to be studying; that the professors are pretty cool and that overall, college life is really terrific!