Back home in Detroit, my wife and I had a father-son moment as we unpacked our son Sebastian’s college backpack for him to travel away from home. After a tumultuous summer of college moves and meltdowns, our son was finally going on his own for the first time, and we wanted to make sure we were both prepared for the reality of living separately for a year.
A few minutes into unpacking, I was armed with a pickaxe and more picks. By the time I was finished, Sebastian’s backpack had a hole nearly the size of a dime in its center, the result of my thick manliness and, at one point, so much sharpness in his pickaxe grip that it opened his first toolbox.
It did not end there. For the next few days, Sebastian’s backpack became a murder weapon. Lidded bags of dirty clothes clung to the shoulder straps. I ate junk food for days and nights.
But when the holiday period came, one of the most common gifts I gave to Sebastian was a Colorado-made pair of Air Oxiimer dehumidifiers. Neither of us had a plan for when or how we were going to get back to the apartment. I was going to work in Washington, where my son had enrolled at Georgetown University, and would be commuting each day for a week. But Sebastian worked at a non-profit in New York City, so I had a few days in the city between days in Washington.