Preparation (2) : The Reaction


So maybe I went a little overboard on the medical supplies. Then again, maybe not.

My children were away for ten days with their father. While they were gone, I had a bit of time to gather some of the items my son still needed for college. It was during this 10-day span that I created the box of medical supplies.

He asked for a “First Aid kit”—bandaids, Neosporin, pain reliever, cold medicine… the basic stuff. But I knew he’d need more than that. During this time, I also happened upon a post on a social media site with a do-it-yourself medical kit for the college bound student, complete with supplies list. Booyah! So while he asked for a first aid kit, what he got, well….

“Whoa! It’s like I have a scary, overprotective mom!” I heard him exclaim from his room when he first discovered the box. Images of Mrs. Benson from the once-popular television show, iCarly, flooded my mind.

I went to his room to explain. “You know,” I started, in my own defense. “This is all stuff you might need, and other people in your dorm probably won’t have this stuff, so they’ll come to you. Who knows?” I smiled my most innocent, non-crazy smile.

“I don’t even know what half this stuff is,” he stated as he poked through the box. “Saline nasal spray? And this,” he picked up the thermometer. “I wouldn’t even have thought of this.”

“But you might need it,” I shrugged. I pulled out a small box that was tucked along the side. “And covers for it in case other people need to borrow it.”

He pulled out the bottle of ibuprofen, much smaller than the one we keep in our medicine cabinet. “I might need more than this,” he told me.

“That’s fine for now,” I responded. “There are fifty in there.” He continued to poke through the contents. “I put your chapstick in there, too,” I told him. “Oh, and I got you some gloves.” I pointed to the small box of eight medical gloves.

He looked up from the box, his mouth hanging open. “Really?” he finally managed.

“Hey, the first time you have to clean up after someone, you’ll understand why I got them.”

Now, let me explain. I have lived in dorms for more years than most people I know, and I’ve been cleaning up biohazard since before it had that name. First of all, as a freshman in college, I very distinctly remember one night when I cleaned up after my roommate. I’m sure she could have done it once she sobered up, but in the meantime, it was my room, too.

After college, I worked as a dorm parent in boarding schools for many years. I cleaned up my share of biohazard, but the most memorable involved a fist and a window. Enough said.

I certainly hope my son is lucky enough to never need the gloves. But chances are, he might, so it’s best to err on the safe side. And if he becomes an RA in the future, I will definitely spring for a bigger box!

Yes, this medical kit will leave me forever be branded as the crazy, overprotective mom. But one day, when my son needs something for congestion or coughing or dry eyes or whatever, and he looks in his medical kit and finds what he needs, he may just say, “Wow, thank goodness my mother thought of that!”


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