Just as we were about to get in the car, I said, "Wait, Jen, take our picture. Samuel, get on my shoulders." He laughed. I said, "No, really." Jen took the picture. We laughed, got in the car, headed out.
We drove north past the GW Bridge, through the Bronx, toward the Merritt. We sang karaoke via my mobile phone: "Mr. Sandman" and "Johnny B. Goode" from "Back to the Future." I did "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" because I don't want him to forget what a great British accent I can do.
We stopped at Dunkin Donuts in Stamford, then back on the road and at our hotel in Hartford by 10pm.
It was rainy on Thursday. We moved him into his dorm room--a ground-floor quad, next to the soda machines. "Uh-oh, ground floor, you're going to have water bugs," I told him. He's going to need me to come stomp on them, I thought.
He has his own tiny room off a shared common area. "All right, photo op."
We unpacked and put everything away. Jen said, "We should get you a few more things from Target."
I think it was mostly a stall tactic. We drove to Target. We drove back. We ate lunch in the cafeteria. Samuel picked at his chicken. He's going to need me to help him find food he likes, I thought.
We walked outside. The sun had come out. I saw a banner that said "Welcome New Students." I said, "Stand right here. Photo op."
Then we looked at our watches, realized he had somewhere to be at 2:30, and we needed to get the rental van back. And...shit, this is it, isn't it? We hugged. He headed off toward his dorm. Jen and I watched him go.
And just like that....