Today I took my oldest to college to register for classes. Wow. When did that even happen? Seriously, just yesterday I was up with her three-month old self for three hours straight because she wanted to play and would not go to sleep. And today? We’re registering for COLLEGE CLASSES? The world has gone insane.
My Aub is going to my Alma Mater, Wesleyan College. I’m thrilled, but it was completely and totally her choice, which brings me even greater joy. She told someone today she’d wanted to go since she was five. I think back to her pulling out my yearbooks that were almost too heavy for her to tote, then crashing on her bed, flipping through pictures of those good ol’ days. In a year she will have a yearbook of her own filled with her first year memories. Again, wow.
After we arrived, we sat downstairs in an area that used to be either the post office or the snack bar; I’ve gotten so turned around I can’t be sure. We were asked to arrive early and wait for her name to be called. They called her name and off she went. Without me. Big steps, people, big steps. For me, that is. She was fine. I sat and worked on my challenge I’ve given myself–not to fiddle with my cell phone while waiting. I’m trying to take in all around me and visit with folks when appropriate. As I sat back in the chair, I heard voices carrying from around the corner. It seemed to be a Dad talking to his daughter about her class schedule.
“See…..this is what you want here. This will give you time to get up, exercise, shower, and then get ready for class…..” Dad said.
Then Mom shared, “When your Day Planner arrives–it’s like your agenda from school–you can put all these in it.”
Aren’t they cute? I mean, really, couldn’t you just hug ’em? I don’t know if I ever saw the family as it was starting to get crowded. But if I’d seen them, I would have had to resist the urge.
Y’all are precious. You think you’ve got her days mapped out just how they should go, AND that they are going to go just that way.
And they might. For a few days.
I can remember days of 8:15 classes (good news, baby girl–now they’re backed up 15 minutes to 8 on the dot!), rolling out of bed, hairbrush, toothbrush, grab my books and roll–arriving in class with about two seconds to spare. No breakfast, no exercise, no morning meditation. I am sure this was not how my parents would have suggested I prepare for my days of learning, and it wasn’t how I started off my college experience, but it was what it was.
These young women have the opportunity to re-create themselves. They get to try, if they want, being the person who gets up two hours before class, jogs, showers, meets friends for breakfast, and then on to class. Or the person who wears yoga pants and t-shirts to class everyday. Or the person who has never really been athletic but joins her class soccer team…..or volleyball…..or takes a Zumba or water aerobics class. The person who didn’t study in high school can become the studious one whom everyone turns to for help in preparing for the mid-term. The young woman who hasn’t been on stage since her fourth grade class play can try out for the first play of the season and find her niche in Porter Auditorium. Though she may never have been very outgoing before, she might decide to run for class vice-president and win the election. She can begin college thinking she’s going to be a teacher but instead graduate with a Psychology degree and dreams of graduate school. So many doors are opening for these young women, they only have to decide which ones to walk through.
And that’s what I try to remind myself. When I tell my girl about the adventures I had there, I want to remember she will create her own adventures. She may want to be on STUNT Committee or become a Peer Counselor and RA, but she MIGHT NOT. She may never set foot on the stage of Porter or put a toe in the pool. And that is okay. Did you hear that, Aub? It’s okay. I share these stories just to share them. No pressure, no expectations. Except two.
Be who you are. And (quoting Mama) be your very best self.
Unless of course–