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  • Writer's pictureLaura Smith

Mom's Excellent Overnight College Adventure.

Updated: Oct 30, 2019

My view from Hailey's couch.

3 am. The fire alarm goes off and I manage to gather myself, and thankfully for my 20 year- old daughter, a bra. And I even put it on! We head to front of the apartment building with the rest of the sleepy college students.

And that's all I wrote before finally falling asleep on the couch in her apartment on the KU campus.

But let's back it up a bit. It all started that morning with a phone call from her, very upset and vomiting.

The saga started a week prior when she started having a lot of digestive symptoms that I will spare you. You're welcome.

She had been sick for about a week and was still attempting to go to class and workouts. As a student athlete on scholarship as a rower for KU, that is what she does. She goes and goes and never quits. It's super annoying to us average joes! It had been about 6 days and she determined that she would have to sit out of the Sunday regatta where her boat ended up winning some hardware. (Ouch!) She started to feel better but by the end of the week it was bad again.

She made it to the regatta but gave up after an hour and just had to rest.....anywhere.

Finally she succumbed to it all and cried "uncle"....well, she really cried, "MOM!!!!!"

OBVIOUSLY, with all the mama bear in me, I drove to her immediately. I was prepared for battle. I arrived at her apartment where I rolled up my sleeves and tackled the war on laundry and sanitation. But, later that day she had to go to practice (don't ask....she thought she should go) and this my friends, is where the "fun" begins.

She left me her keys and I went to do some shopping while she went to plead her case that she was too sick to work out. I hit Target and the Wal Marts. I bought what we needed and also some pjs and a toothbrush. I knew this battle was going to continue and I was staying the night. This was not going to be a choice for her. Mom was moving in for the night. Not what I expected, but not a problem.

My shopping list.

We met back at her place where she said she was feeling "okay", but could barely help me carry bags to her apartment. "I"m fine." she said as she walked a snails pace looking pale as a ghost. Oh yes my child, you are a top rower for KU, but you walk slower and more hunched than your grandma...sorry mom.

She went immediately to sleep on the couch but this mama needed some dinner! She told me Panera was close and I wanted a salad. But my broken GPS on my phone wasn't having it. So as I circled around Lawrence I passed by Fuzzy's and well, the giant margarita sign was calling my name. I pulled in with a giant grin and was feeling pretty good to be around such a fun young crowd. The wait was long so I ordered my marg and had a seat. I might have felt a little guilty having so much fun while my girl was...well heck, she was asleep right? As I sat there waiting and drinking my marg I took in all of the college town atmosphere. The parents visiting with their kids, the drunk girl that couldn't stand up and was talking much too loud, the groups of friends eating together. And me and my marg.

As I drove home I saw and heard parties, watched the kids strolling Mass street and basked in the memories of my college days.

But there was more laundry to do and a LOT more sanitizing. Hailey was of no use to me as she just lay there all pale and boring:) So I sat there just staring out the window watching the party going on across the way. Did they leave the blinds open just for me? I wondered when someone would get in the hot tub, and that didn't take long! Yes, there is a beautiful pool and hot tub at this place. Now let's be clear. The royal daughter is a hard worker for sure, but she is spoiled! I never lived in an apartment like hers and told she and her roommates that they should enjoy it while it lasts!

But back to my walk down memory lane, blast from the past. Imagine it....the music, the loud people laughing in the hall, the dudes in the apartment above stomping around like elephants, the great view of the stadium prepping for the game the next day. Suddenly this whole experience went from a rescue mission to a flood of memories of days gone by. Those carefree days when we went to class (sometimes) and partied starting on Thursdays. We met new friends everywhere we went. We shared inside jokes, played games, shared everything.

And there I was, an old lady just observing it all again.

I finally fell asleep and then the fire alarm. Really? Could this day have been more magical for me than getting the chance to experience that "Who the &*#%" pulled the fire alarm?" and "Do we HAVE to leave?"

Of course I knew there was no fire. I was more worried that my daughter would be traumatized by the fact that her mother was with her walking out in her pjs. Thank you very much I let's recall that I had the bra on! Now I looked pretty much like all the other college girls. Like totally 100%!

But really. Everyone was annoyed and sleepy. Nobody cared who I was. And the residents with dogs made it all better. Well, the dogs made it better. As we sat there on the curb I whispered to Hailey, (because you always whisper in public with kids) "I know this is mean, but thank you so much, because this is SO FUN!" She got it. She knew. Bless her heart, she was too sick to roll her eyes or make fun of me.

We wandered back in, took our places on the couch...yes my friends, she slept near her MAMA!!!! All was right with the world!

Dr. Steph's ER:)

But all was not right at all. The next morning I told her she just had to go back to KC with me to her doctor who had urgent care hours on Saturday. And she didn't put up a fight.

Our doctor wasn't open that morning so I drove her to my favorite doctor's ER where they could find nothing wrong with her, BUT........they sent us home to wait for the results of a very special stool sample.

The doctor called to tell us she had GIARDIA. Yes folks, if you own dogs you may have heard of this. She most certainly swallowed infected water from the Kansas River possibly from being splashed.

Why it took so long to determine what was wrong.....well, according to the CDC: "Sometimes, the symptoms of giardiasis might seem to resolve, only to come back again after several days or weeks. Giardiasis can cause weight loss and failure to absorb fat, lactose, vitamin A and vitamin B12." (

The good news is that she would be feeling better in a few days with antibiotics.

We have had some good laughs about this! Keeping a sense of humor has been vital.

She's missed being at home having her mama take care of her and bring her food whenever she wants it. I have missed having her home; just HERE.

As I lay down beside Jay in bed, I fell asleep to the laughs and talking of she and her boyfriend who has been a rock star during all of this. There is nothing better than having your happy kid at home, even if she feels crummy. She is my favorite daughter and I love every ounce of her.....and her laundry.

Pics above:

Top Left: Sunday during the Jayhawk Jamboree where she just could not quite make it through the day. She was better for 4 days after that and called me on Friday very ill. Top Middle: Fire drill at HERE apartments.

Top Right: Sleeping while Cota watches over her after returning from the ER.

Bottom left: After 2 doses of antibiotics she is sitting up and doing homework.

Bottom middle: Hailey and Evan with their TMNT pumpkins. Missing: Carlos the turtle.

Bottom right: Are they ever too old to enjoy dropping them off at school and watching them walk in. Nope.



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