Monday, August 29, 2011

A Meandering My Town Monday: College Orientation, Motherhood, Attitude Adjustments

Thanks Google Images for this photo of St Pierre et Miqueleon. Actually, I think it's a photo of St. Pierre only.

As many of you know, I returned last night from leaving Child #2 at Occidental College in LA for his freshman year. It started out as a tough four days for me. Lots of tears and kleenex and strangled voice. Then, suddenly, I thought of this guy named Richard.

Let me backtrack a sec. A few moons ago (ha!) when I was only slightly older than Child #2 and was an undergrad at the University of Toronto, I spent a summer on the island of St Pierre in French immersion. St Pierre et Miquelon are the oldest overseas territories owned by France. To orient you, on a clear day (and there weren't many the summer I was there!), you can see Newfoundland. While at St. Pierre, I lost a contact lens. Naturally, my only backup was an ugly pair of glasses, a prescription out of date. I was devastated.

Richard was another student in the program. We hadn't met before the summer. He was energetic, chatty, wore glasses (although not as ugly as mine) and was nothing short of brilliant. I don't remember his last name, something Jewish, I think. Anyway, when Richard heard me obsessing about my glasses problem, he started talking about various challenges in his life and how he'd ended up turning them around and learning a bunch from them and how wearing eye glasses for a few weeks didn't have to be devastating. Kind of hokey, but it stuck with me. And there have been several times now in my life when I was obsessing (it's my style!) over something when Richard popped into my mind. This weekend was one of those times.

I watched Child #2 interact with professors. He used respect and intelligence and wit. I watched him organize his belongings. I watched him juggle his schedule between polo practice and orientation activities. He's ready. Or at least as ready as he needs to be.

So, yeah, it was tough getting on the 5 and heading south to San Diego. I've never left a child somewhere for four years. BUT, in Richard logic, it's time for me to move on. Oxy College isn't my story. Oxy College is Child #2's story. And I need to get out of the way and let it unfold.

(Besides there's always skype! Mwahahah)

And, now, a few shots from the four days at Oxy so that this is somewhat of a My-Town-Monday post!

This is Oswald the Tiger, Oxy's mascot. It was 100 degrees!!! I'm not sure how Oswald stayed hydrated enough to not fall over in a dead faint!

Here's is Child #4 who came with me. Thank goodness! She helped keep me grounded. There were signs like this all over campus. Very helpful for the directionally challenged!

I'm thinking this might be truly Californian because we do love our bottled water. The campus was dotted with water coolers and paper cups!

President Obama (nickname of Barry!) attended Oxy 1979-81 . Child #2 is not staying in the dorm Obama was in. They also don't share a hairstyle. Apparently, though, Obama appreciated his time at Oxy. And I hope they have that in common.

Here's a link to the official My Town Monday blog for links to more posts about various corners of the world. Always of interest!


Clare2e said...

Barrie- This was such a sweet post, and I'm delighted for your family and C#2's big adventure!

laughingwolf said...

yeah, apron strings must be cut to allow young ones to unfold, like you say :)

never made it to st.p/m while i was in nova scotia for 13 yr. [my 3 kids are still there, but no longer need me, daily]; back in niagara area, old stomping grounds! lol

have new pup to keep company with :)

Teresa said...

What a great post, Barrie!! Kids flying away is certainly a growing time for everyone, especially their mother. I really appreciate your attitude.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad everything's going so well!
You're trip sounded very fun.
Great Post!(:


Kelly H-Y said...

Loved this post, Barrie!

Susan R. Mills said...

My oldest will go away next year. I'm so not ready for that. I'll definitely remember this post. Great advice Richard gave you!

Caryn Caldwell said...

Oh, this is wonderful! What a wise lesson. I'm already teary-eyed over taking Sunshine to college, and I still have sixteen years to go.

Beth said...

I think a child leaving for college is a greater adjustment for the mother than it is for the child. And tears are okay...

(yeah, i'm back...)

Barrie said...

Clare2E, so glad you enjoyed the post!

Laughing Wolf, I didn't realize you were around Niagara! Near my old stomping grounds! :)

Teresa: Parenting is not for the feint of heart!

AbaGayle: It was fun and sad, all rolled into one.

Barrie said...

Kelly, I must get over to your blog. I've been negligent this busy summer.

Susan, are we ever really ready? Probably not ;)

Caryn, 16 years seems long and short at the same time!

Beth: I'm so excited to see you!!!!

Rug Cleaning Los Angeles said...

A really good friend of mine went to Occidental and he LOVED it. (He's from SD, too, went to Saint Augustine HS in North Park). He is still friends with sooo many people he met while he was there- his roommate from freshman year is one of his best friends. He went on to USC Film School and now has a great job in LA. I hope your child is liking it so far. LA is much different from SD but I love it up here.