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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson

Cool Nerd


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We did it. Yesterday we moved Luke into his dorm on the U of M campus. It was actually much easier than I expected. 


The night before he left we were talking to the parents of Luke’s good buddy who’s attending a state school. They described in dramatic detail their son’s initial impressions. It went something like this: “About an hour after the parents left, all hell broke loose, and it’s been chaos ever since.” 


That’s not what this mom needed to hear just hours before sending her own offspring into the world. 


Our collegiate experience until now has been almost entirely limited to one small Christian university and its seminary. Our Alma Mater. Familiar and safe.


BU was in Luke’s final two, but in the end he went with the Big 10. Both Kyle and I feel certain he made the right choice. All along it was where God seemed to be leading. Away from the familiar, and into the unknown.


And yesterday didn’t feel all that scary. Maybe it helps to know Luke is living in the U of M honors dorm. The Nerd Dorm. Yesterday Kyle and I realized we like nerds a lot. They feel quite safe, and not at all inclined to invite girlfriends to overnights in our son’s dorm room. 

Luke is our cool nerd. He likes Harry Potter and strong black coffee and jazz. He bought himself a mandolin earlier this week. He has a knack for memorizing wacky lines from movies. He loves history. Yesterday moving Luke into his dorm we discovered he forgot to bring a pillow, and hadn’t yet ordered textbooks. But he did make sure he packed his AreoPress for making perfect coffee. Luke’s roommate moved in with a surplus of power cords and electronic devices. Luke came with a surplus of musical instruments. 


Today at work I commented to one of my colleagues, “Luke might be the most socially impactful introvert I know.” He is a rare combination of empathetic heart, leadership potential, and brilliant mind. Unlike every other kid leaving for college, Luke is not concerned about having too few friends, but too many. That’s not to say he doesn’t love people; in fact, the opposite is true. But he knows sometimes love can be burdensome, and for a short season at least he thinks it might be nice to keep things simple. 


I’m going to miss having this boy around. I’m going to miss the way he makes all of us laugh. I’m going to miss the way he can’t stop tapping his fingers at the dinner table. I’m going to miss seeing his lanky self wrapped up in a blanket in the living room early in the morning reading his Bible. I’m going to miss drinking coffee with him. 


I’m hoping the U won’t end up feeling too much like home.

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