Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hear the future?

My son recently accepted admittance to UC Berkeley (Cal) as a Regents and Chancellors Scholar. This weekend, we all went to "Cal Day" an open house event at the university. What a day of mixed emotions. Whew! We got up early and drove the 90 minutes to Berkeley to be there by 9:00 am. Forty-thousand plus show for the event to tour the campus, check out programs and prospective students from all over the globe. We got there early to find a coveted free (one of only two days of the year) parking spot. The Cal campus is fairly large so we dropped him off at the Stanley Hall (bioengineering building) to go to the first meeting of the day. To see the man I once knew as a child walk away into the future was frankly frightening. However, as the day went on and I walked around the university, exploring for myself, I realized how much there was there to offer him and I got so happy for him. The caliber of the program, professors and students is perfectly suited to him. I was worried that he wasn't used to city life, but I think he'll enjoy learning what a dense urban area can offer him in the way of diversity, culture and challenge him to be a better human being overall. He will be able to explore cirriculur opportunities and experience the traditional college life. It was like a dream come true.
By the end of the day I realized it has been a long time coming. All the science projects, early morning drives to soccer and basebal fields, standing in the rain or the heat to watch some event or the other in a closed in space with lots of smelly kids. Late night pep talks when he'd put off whatever assignment until the very last moment. Bake sale flops (on my part), field trips with a car-load of tired kids, dragging our tired-selves around behind him at museums where he looked at every single thing and read every single sign (including, "Restrooms, this Way"). From beanie babies to trains to legos (we were in legos quite a while) to robots. Soccer, baseball and mathlete practice, music (a very poorly played saxaphone), school events in costume (pioneers, colonial settlers and most notably pirates (complete with penciled on moustaches). Oh let's not forget about dinosaurs (if triceraTOPS, where are the BOTTOMS?), ancient egypt and the steps for mummifying a body and what the spirit has to do in the afterlife, sailing around the cape horn, and whether or not he 'likes-likes' a girl or she's just a friend (not that he'd ever talk about that with me now). Rock collecting and star gazing. Loving his friends like they were our own tribe-children. Parents of those friends, we hope to remain friends with for life. A single black balloon, a yellow ruler, moments of pure bliss watching him put a very loving and understanding cat in a leg lock or playing in the back yard in childhood's innocence. And laundry, loads and loads of laundry. This chapter of my life as a mother over. High school graduation is around the corner and all this life we've been living -- some of it easy, some painful -- has paid off.
By the end of the day, I realized if I was quiet. If I was very, very quiet and still. And I listened very carefully, I can hear the future of our dreams calling. It is palpable.

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