I Spent Mother’s Day with My Son!

Exclamation mark! because it had been a year since I’d seen Finn, so swinging an in-person visit on Mother’s Day, no less, was a triumph of planning. Truthfully, I’d planned on visiting him the day before, on his 23rd birthday, but he was busy that day having some well-deserved fun. And, to totally be level with you, the entire reason we’re on the East Coast right now is to attend his college graduation in a couple of weeks, so seeing him now is not such a shocker. But, man of man, was it a glorious visit.

Tracy (and Banjo) and I took a day trip from Richmond to Williamsburg, about an hour east, to hang out with Finn on campus for an afternoon. We set up chairs and tables under a tree near his dorm and basically camped out for five hours. Bliss.

Finn and I walked around campus, and I gotta say that William & Mary (ampersand is mandatory) looks green and lush in the late spring. It had been at least a year since I’d been on campus, and although it was eerily quiet, the few students we did see were wearing masks, which is also is mandatory.

W&M has done a stellar job keeping their Covid numbers very low on campus, through clear and enforced rules, lots of technology dedicated to this, and strong leadership and communication. This is what I’m most proud of from this school and grateful he was able to spend his senior year there with friends, safely, and able to play music outside.

In any case, on Mother’s Day we walked around campus and talked, the way he and I do, while Tracy and Banjo watched birds and relaxed under our tree.

Then Finn told us about his senior physics thesis, which covered two projects he worked on at Fermilab in Chicago. He’s been doing work for Fermilab on their NOvA project since his first summer at W&M. He loves this kind of work, and Banjo didn’t understand why all his enthusiasm couldn’t be directed a bit more toward her.

While at W&M Finn’s also getting a music degree, largely inspired by a band he’s been in, also since the start, the Middle Eastern Music Ensemble. Thanks to that group, he’s travelled to Oman, made a variety of friends (the group is open to anyone in Williamsburg, no matter their age), and broadened his musical understanding in ways thay are beyond me, but I can hear the maturity in his playing now, no matter the instrument.

Here he’s playing with one year’s resident guest musician, Syrian rapper Oman Offendum, who blew my mind with how he works in traditional Syrian themes and music into his LA-based rapping style.

Let’s say Finn’s gotten a lot out of his five years at W&M, and I’m more proud of him than I can express. I’ll brag about his future endeavors (doctoral program in high-energy physics, which he’s moving to Michigan for in June) in a later post about graduation.

Hey now, this is my blog: I can brag about my son if I want.

Uke Segment

Finn very patiently and generously listens to me play ukulele sometimes over FaceTime and gives me tips, especially with vocals. On Mother’s Day, after our walk, and our lounging, and our eating take-out as a picnic, I played this song I’m struggling with, and he helped out, again. It’s still really rough, and frankly I’m out of my league with Gillian Welch entirely, but I do love the song so I’m going to keep on at it. Thankfully the rain drowns me out at times.

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