I used to call my son ‘LB.’ It stood for ‘Little Bob.’ Now, that he’s pushing 6’3″ that nickname is no longer appropriate. I still call him ‘LB.’ But the initials stand for something else, entirely.
Since last summer we have taken our son, who is now a high school senior, to visit several colleges. While we were in Ohio, we visited Miami University, which happens to be my parents’ alma mater. They joined us that day for the tour of the college. While we were in Oxford, my Dad recounted to us a story from his college days. While attending Miami, my Dad, because he is handy often did odd jobs for the university president. One spring he was painting the president’s house when he stepped on a rotting board that had been there to cover a cesspool. The board broke, and my Dad fell in. Grabbing onto the slippery sides, he was able to hoist himself up. After he showered, he let the president know what had happened. Aghast at what could have been a horrible and disgusting tragedy, the president gave my Dad a huge tip for all his trouble. After that my grandfather would often quip, ‘Bill is the only person I know who can fall into a pile of shit and come up with a pile of money.’ It’s true. Karma has been more than kind to my Dad on many occasions, occasions that for most people would have nothing but dire consequences.
This past fall my son, LB, applied to his three dream colleges for early action. He, also, at his mother’s prodding applied to our local state college, UNR, although he has made it abundantly clear that he does not want to stay in Reno. He has worked very hard to get excellent grades in an advanced program all so that he will be accepted into one of his dream colleges, the number one choice being Georgia Tech.
This week-end, thinking he should have heard something by now, I asked him to check on the status of his applications. When he did, it was not unlike stepping onto the rotting board of a cesspool. Unfortunately, only one application was complete. In his haste last fall, he failed to have transcripts and test scores sent to his other two dream colleges, and the deadlines for even regular admission is past. Well, LB, there’s nothing wrong with state college. Now, LB is a lot like his grandfather in that he often falls into shit, yet, somehow comes out of it unscathed, sometimes even richer for it. It is to the point where when LB leaves his wallet in the cup holder at the movie theater, and doesn’t realize it until he gets home, a seeming disaster for most people, I know that he will return to the theater and find his wallet completely intact, and he does. Things always work out for him. But this error, missing the deadlines for his dream colleges, was huge, a lost opportunity that he will never get back…or will he?