This morning at 7 a.m., I turned on the Weather Channel.
I'm going to have to admit that before yesterday, I didn't know where the Weather Channel was, but talk on the news about Tropical Storm Isaac and the Republican Convention in Tampa led me to search for the Weather Channel. Not because I'm attending or I'm worried about the delegates, but because Spencer is now in college close by.
The first taste of adulthood, a beach, and a hurricane may just add up to the perfect storm.
I first mentioned the storm to Spencer on Saturday while on FaceTime. FaceTime is like Skype except we can do it on our iPhones. I caught him still in bed at 12:30.
"Yeah, we thought we'd just ride out the storm here. Just hunker down," he said, his eyes bleary as he lay shirtless in bed.
I explained that it didn't look like the college was going to allow that. They had an evacuation plan to take the students inland. He had a meeting at 4 on Saturday.
I finally reached him again Saturday evening. Yes, the college was heading toward evacuation, but he and some friends had decided on their own plan. They were going to get a couple of hotel rooms in Orlando.
"What?" I might have screeched.
"I don't want to go to some camp," he said.
He ran through a list of friends he'd known for two weeks now. They planned to drive to Orlando, hang out during the Tropical Storm.
I started adding up costs, gas, hotel, food. No supervision. A bunch of 18-year-olds in a hotel room. This looked like a disaster.
"This might be the shortest college career in history if you run out of money after three weeks," I warned him in a bad mothering moment. "You know you still need to pay for your fall books."
"Some people have already gotten kicked out," he replied.
"Okay, I'm proud that you're working hard," I said, pulling back from the brink of even worse parenting. "I just don't think this is a good decision."
Later that night, another email from the college explained that the students should bring their books for their classes and instruction. I called Spencer again to "reason" with him.
He was quick to cut me off.
"I'm going with the college," he said.
And I exhaled in relief.
The college was busing the students inland to a camp, but they would be together, organized, under someone else's supervision. And the college would pick up the tab.
I don't know if Spencer reconsidered, or maybe the parents of his friends were more persuasive, or maybe the parents of his friends put their foot down. "No! You are not going."
However it happened, this afternoon, Spencer is scheduled to evacuate with the rest of the freshman at his college. Unless the storm changes course. Then, they might get to hunker down and watch the rain, the wind and the surf increase. Well, that will bring a whole other host of worries for me.
Update: Luckily for us, the storm did change course and the college decided around noon not to evacuate. Maybe his first instinct was right.
I hope all of those other college students and residents in the path of the storm are safe too.
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