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Posted on Mon. Aug. 25, 2014 - 12:15 am EDT

BACK TO SCHOOL

Students return to Tech

Hugs, laughs, tears all a part of move-in day

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Yes, there were mothers hugging sons and dads hugging daughters.

There were a few tearful goodbyes, a few bittersweet moments, and those long waves after the parents pull out of the parking lot, putting their newly minted college offspring in the rearview mirror as they leave them to a life of dorm living, dorm food and newfound independence.

And then there was the Jackson family of Homewood, Illinois.

“This is fun for momma, because this is where momma gets rid of him!”

That was the exclamation of one Tracey Jackson, the mother of Durman Jackson IV, as she waited outside an Indiana Tech dorm Sunday with a stockpile of soda, a 32-inch plasma television, blankets and bedding.

The Jacksons were just one of many families dropping their college-age children off at Indiana Tech for move-in day, that old tradition where parents let go of their kids and, for most, leave them to their own devices for the first time.

Some have trouble handling that.

But then there are the Jacksons, who came from their suburban Chicago home to see their youngest of two children off to college.

“I’ve had children in my house for 20 years,” said Durman Jackson III, No. IV’s father.

“You watch and see,” chimed in Jimmie Boyd, No. IV’s grandfather. “You won’t ever want them back. You’ll have all that freedom.”

“I told him to make sure he doesn’t flunk out and I see him home in a couple months,” No. III continued. “I don’t want him living in the basement – permanently.”

Teresa Jackson, Durman IV’s sister, was along for the ride, as well. She had gone through move-in day with her parents at Knox College in Illinois – where she still studies – three years ago. Sunday, she could tell her brother was more excited than nervous, but still she was giving him pointers.

“It was kind of scary the first time,” she said. “You’re there all alone that first night, but then you get used to it.”

Teresa was also the one to suggest that the family maybe make a run to Wal-Mart, that maybe Durman IV needed a few more snacks or a little extra food.

“No way,” said Tracey, the matriarch. “That means I have to spend 10 more minutes with him.”

It should be noted, the Jacksons were laughing through all of this.

And the “can’t wait until he goes” exterior Tracey put on was only a facade, according to the family.

“She’s got a poker face,” Durman III said.

“She is going to call him all week,” Teresa said. “You watch. It’ll be all week. ‘Did you go to class? You do your homework? Did you eat?’ ”

For his part, Durman IV admitted to some nerves as he nestled himself into his new digs at the dorm. He also begrudgingly said he’d miss his mother – or at least kind of miss her. Maybe.

“I’ll miss her,” he said. “I’ll miss her buying me stuff.”

And like his mom, father, sister and grandfather, he burst out laughing.

Because, after all, these are the Jacksons.

There may have been some truth to what they were saying: The parents are going to relish their newfound freedom at home, and their boy is going to relish his time away from them in a world he can make his own.

But if you were a betting person, you could probably lay good money down on this and come out ahead: Durman IV won’t be ignoring the phone when his mother inevitably calls.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

 


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