Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

Moving on: parents say goodbye

John Lawrence Has Moved In

“He went the wrong way, I bet,” said Jean Lawrence, mother of an incoming freshman, said. “He has the worst sense of direction.”

Jean and Ken Lawrence are leaning against their red sedan in front of Collins Living-Learning Center, waiting for their son John to come back with his key.

He’s the second son they have moved into college, and Jean said she could predict how he would act.

“I’m sure he’ll be feisty,” Jean Lawrence said. “We’ll get him in the room, and he won’t be able to push us out fast enough. I won’t take it too personally.”

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song starts to play above the rumble of truck motors in the Collins courtyard, which is blocked off by orange fencing for a construction project.

Jean Lawrence starts to sing along, saying between verses that there’s probably a long line for keys that’s holding John up.

“Unless he got lost inside,” she added.

After John moves out, Jean Lawrence said she’s most looking forward to spending less on groceries, doing less laundry and doing less baking.

There’s only one thing she’s not looking forward to: taking care of all seven of John’s cats, including the two pregnant ones. She said they all hate everyone other than her son.

“They’ll have to learn to love me or die,” she said.

***

John arrives with a key about 10 minutes later, and the move-in process begins. John said he hasn’t spoken to his roommate yet. He just knows a name.

When they arrive at his room, the door is open. His roommate, sophomore Garrett Silen, is inside waiting. His things are already unpacked and neatly stacked on his desk and bookshelf.

“Hi, I’m John’s mother,” Jean Lawrence said. “He’s a slob.”

Silen and John Lawrence begin the initial roommate conversations: majors, hometowns, who gets to use the fridge. In between lulls in their conversation, Silen notices that they’ve both got chess sets.

After another break, Silen said, “The three floors above us are all girls.”
“That’s not a bad thing,” John Lawrence said.

As his parents drop the last of his bags on the floor, they give him a quick hug goodbye amid reassurances to “make us proud” and “call us if you need us.”

And then they’re gone.

“And that’s the last of it,” John Lawrence said. “It’s kind of surreal, but things are looking good. I know I’m not going back home with them, but I haven’t realized it yet. It’s gonna be nice.”

Get stories like this in your inbox
Subscribe