Tag Archives: College

Saying Good-bye (For now) to My Little Sister

This is the face I always remember best.

This is the face I remember best.

A week from tomorrow my little sister, K, leaves for college. When I stop to think about this I tear up. Sending her off on her first journey into adulthood comes at an interesting moment in my own life, as I welcome my daughter into this world and anticipate the path that lies ahead.

My little sister gave me my first tastes of motherhood with thirteen years between us. Thinking back to K as a child makes me smile. She confounded me. I pained myself to be obedient and make everyone else happy. She would wake up and make herself a bowl of ice cream to eat with her morning cartoons and think nothing of it. She made her decisions for herself, not others. This is not to say she was not generous, she has just always known how to care for herself first.

In our family of five kids, K managed to still stand out.

In our family of five kids, K managed to still stand out, (yes, she is the fabulous little person in the middle).

It took me eighteen years to understand how this perceived rebellion was beautiful. I used to try and change her with my words, make her more like me to make others happy. Instead, she always stayed her course and others were happy still. It blew my mind. She showed me she could be her own person, less eager to please, and that others would adapt and be better for it.

While I stayed close to home and went to college in Davis, she is off to study film at NYU, on the other side of the country, a move I was too afraid to make. I only applied to California schools and UW, (which I turned down because it was too far). I have no regrets, as each choice took me to the life I have today, but I also admire her. She has always been good at pushing our family outside of its comfort zone.

My family often jokes that Eloise is already like her Auntie K. Strong-willed, focused, determined. There was a time when this would have scared me. However, as I get ready to send off my sweet blonde-haired sister, I can only hope Eloise grows to be just as true to herself and that I can be the mom who gives her space to follow her heart. As I hug K good-bye, I will feel Eloise in my arms too, making it a little harder to let go.

Good luck Auntie K, we will all be rooting for you!

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Fifth Grade: Big Dreams in Their Hearts

Today I sat at my back table during recess and listened. Three boys and three girls huddled around a group of desks and discussed their futures while they graded papers instead of going outside to play.

“Which college do you plan to attend?”

“What do you want to do when you grow up?”

I was just as amazed by their questions as I was by their answers. Children who will be the first in their families to go to college, some of whose parents work for minimum wage, answered in detail. They offered the names of obscure colleges, ones which require actual consideration instead of the obvious “Harvard because I’ve heard it’s the best” or “Sac State because it’s here.”

“I plan to be a lawyer,” said a boy who likes to argue. I often question whether he hears me when I tell him he is a born leader. He may not always act like one, but I see it in him. I also tell him he should grow up to be a lawyer. I guess he listens more than I realize.

“I plan to be a fashion designer or a doctor,” said a girl whose family does not speak English. She is undauntedly focused. Last year she wrote me a letter about how sad it makes her when other students disrupt and keep her from learning. If anyone deserves to succeed, it is this child.

I busied myself with the mess at my back desk and allowed their college talk to wash over me. Part of me was afraid that if I really listened I might cry. These are kids I have loved for nearly two years who will leave me in less than two months. Without realizing it, I am beginning to detach. Still, I am comforted to know they will leave my classroom with big dreams in their hearts. I hope they last.

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You Can Go Back

Last night, I went to Woodstock’s Pizza in Davis with my husband and a friend.  I never realized how many memories I have connected to this place.  Late night post-party pizza trips with beloved friends, pizza deliveries to the dorms in order to avoid the dreaded DC, infamous stories of fake IDs confiscated in the pursuit of alcohol…  Apparently, Woodstock’s Pizza was much more memorable than I ever realized back in college.

It has been six years since I graduated, which means that some of these memories are ten years old.  Whoa.  I loved college, but I never fully appreciated this glorious period of my life until it was over.  Sleep until whenever, do whatever, surrounded by friends, (even if do whatever was fairly tame for me!).  I loved studying outside underneath the trees on the quad, giggling with friends over dinner, riding my bicycle all over town, claiming my apartments.  Really, college was my first real chance to be independent, and I loved it!
This past week, the theme in my life has been that you can go back in time, it just won’t be exactly the same.  Stepping out of the car in downtown Davis, I felt old.  Not in a bad way, but in a wow, I really was a baby 10 years ago way.  Standing in line to order pizza, I felt so much wiser than the giggling bunch of girls in front of us.  I once was them.  
The funny thing is that I kept watching the door, expecting old friends from college to walk through.  I found myself looking for Rachel, Tanya, Liz, and Katie.  I felt the ghosts of us sitting around a table in the center of the restaurant, laughing, gossiping, planning our futures.  Now, the future is here, and I am alright that I can’t fully go back.  It was enough to sit there and remember.
As Alex and Ryan talked about the present, I remembered everything I loved about Davis!
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