"Choose what you will, but Marshall is better..."

1:06 PM Elizabeth Seckman 1 Comments

Two  weeks ago, I took my oldest son, Caleb, over to WVU for ‘the tour’. Now, those of you who aren’t from WV, understand that for many years there were two universities in the mountain state…WVU and the other one. Four hours south of the school who gets first funding and top billing is the little sister school. And like any younger, slimmer, better looking little sis, she has big attitude.  We ARE Marshall. 

Now at Caleb’s birth, two concerns were foremost in my mind…
1.             How will I potty train him?
2.             How will I make sure he grows up with a strong sense of self?

I wanted my child to go to kindergarten in big boy pants and go into adulthood with confidence.

My husband and I had a fail proof system for potty training. Yay us! And a theory on personality development…we would let him make his own choices, within reason. (yes, we let him wear gum boots to church, no we didn’t let him drink beer for breakfast…no one in our family drinks till noon)

We accepted his choices. He wore Halloween costumes year round, adorned his outfits with amulets and sword, and even went through a phase where he had just two favorite shirts…the big truck shirt and the animals on camo shirt. He’d take one off, put the other on, sometimes waiting anxiously by the dryer for one to be done. 

But we subtly did our best brainwashing. We dressed baby in Marshall green and white. Took him to Huntington for weekend trips, for football games, and let him chase squirrels on campus…Basically we taught him as best we could to bleed green. And he absorbed it like a sponge. He was such a good little Herd fan, he bought himself a Pitt jersey to wear on WVU day at school. 

But then…oh cruel fate, you are such a witch.

A chick from the WVU recruiting office called his junior year, “Come on over and tour our campus,” she said like a spider from her web. “We think you’ll like it here.”

We ignored the call. Surely Marshall in all her wisdom will be in touch soon…but nothing…nothing but another call from WVU. 

We explained to our son, “This is your choice to make. We chose where we went to school, now you choose where you go.”  A letter from WVU later, Caleb says, “I think I should check them out.”

So off to WVU we went. A free tee shirt and a guided tour later, Caleb was filling out the application.

On leaving  the Mountain Lair, I couldn’t help but point out the obvious… Marshall’s campus is all together…a picturesque little community set aside from the city of Huntington, no transit system needed. As we climbed one set of stairs after another?  I think I mentioned the land Marshall sits on is flat. As we waited to ride the PRT?  I just couldn’t NOT state my concern that the unmanned transit hub could be a mugger/rapists favorite hang out after dark.  And when we crossed the highway and I tripped on the median and landed on my knees in the middle of the highway? Please note that the streets around Marshall’s campus are one ways, so you don’t have to stop on the little concrete island and risk your life to cross the road.

See? This open minded, supportive mother has allowed her son his roots and wings…and the freedom to make his own choices. Like I told him, “Choose what you will, but Marshall is better.” :)

1 comment:

  1. Perfectly spoken, Elizabeth.....I, too, have felt your pain. I now have two sons how chose that "other" school. I tried similar tactics, but no avail...


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