COLUMN:Day to be happy, tear-filled reunion

By Melissa Silverberg

In a few days campus will explode with thousands of minivans and SUVs, hotels will be packed, restaurants will have lines out the door and the streets will be a sea of orange and blue. The moms are coming to town. Don’t run and don’t be afraid – there is no escape. For a few days your mom will be in town to take you shopping, criticize your decorating and living style and generally express her love.

I can pretty much guarantee you that the moment she reads this, my mother will be crying. I didn’t do anything – I swear – except go off to college and write this column about her.

First steps, dance recitals, the kindergarten play – it really doesn’t take much to get the water works going. Those tears of joy were always nice to see on the sidelines, although I noticed them getting more and more frequent the older I was. As high school graduation neared, all it took was me clearing the table, doing homework, watching television or basically just existing to get my mom going.

You would think that as the child of a woman with such strong emotions, I would be crying too, but I’ve never been the type, even though I am the “baby” of the family. Unlike my sister or my friends who cry at every goodbye, I just give my mom a hug and get on my way back to Champaign. Not because I’m not sad, but because I know my mom will be waiting for me (probably at the doorway) when I get home.

This weekend it will be my turn to wait at the door for my mom to arrive. Although this is my first year at Illinois, it won’t be my first Mom’s Weekend. For the four years my sister was an Illini, I made the trip with my mom for a weekend of shopping, touring campus, meals out and all the other festivities.

So now that it’s time for my mom’s fifth weekend, I began to get a little worried about what to do with her. She’s seen it all, gone everywhere, bought everything, so what can there be that is new? Well, there is one important change from all those weekends past – I go here now!

While I don’t have a minute-by-minute itinerary planned out for the weekend, which may surprise people that know me best, I know my mom, my sister (whose turn it is to be the visitor now) and I will have a great time around campus.

This guide is full of ideas of how to spend your weekend and a little bit of advice of how to prepare for and best enjoy the time spent with your mom.

No matter what activities you participate in this weekend, make sure you enjoy the time spent together and tell your mother how much you appreciate her.

Remember that every eye roll, criticism and tear is only out of her love for you.