His text said, “I don’t want to do this.” I pictured him on the runway train. I put my phone down and continued doing my work. The Freshmen Orientation, a 24 hour campus visit, was already proving that college was a “learn on your feet” experience.
I picked up the phone again to reply, “at least you didn’t get on a train on the wrong train line, like first stop White Plains.” An express train to Stamford was blasting up the New Haven Line, but he would be able to catch a local and be just a few stops away from his intended New Rochelle Station.
The confident young man that had his logistics together earlier that morning, who didn’t need me to me to go with him for orientation check in. I was excited for him and really cool with letting him do his thing. He’s been there solo a few times already. And his independence was with an impressive maturity.
I sent the text and put the phone down again. My little boy stepped on the wrong train at his transfer at Harlem-125th and was on a train blowing pass New Rochelle, Rye, Port Chester… Had he even been to Stamford before? It was a pretty big station. My mind wondered before I could give much worry about him checking the monitor and reading the signs.
It was about an hour later before I picked up my phone to send another text. I knew that just as with my husband and our other two young grown children, no news meant all was well. My text asked the obvious, did he make it there. His response came about a half hour later. All was well and he was well engaged with the activities.
You live and you learn. There’s no need for me to tell him what he did wrong. Nor will there be a need to remind him next time he’s catching a train down to school or anywhere else. Getting on the train without checking the signs and listening for the announcements, need only happen once or maybe if it’s your freshmen year —twice.