Monday, October 6, 2008

JMU Paren'ts Weekend--How Could I be So Blessed?


The thing about motherhood is it always holds surprises. We went to Parent's Weekend at James Madison University where our first born is studying away to achieve a BS in Computer Science. We nearly didn't go, what with the other five to attend, with groceries, and house-keeping, gardens to weed, and trim to be laid over the new porcelain tile. So many things to stand in the way, but we went because it was Parent's Weekend and we are, after all, his parents.

We met at his tiny, less than pristine apartment and sat around looking at funny things on You Tube, laughing at soccer bloopers and rude English TV shows. We met up with his Love and her parents and proceeded to commence upon a walking tour that was very, very long--but also beautiful. We talked, meandered, laughed and joked in the fall sunshine. We all stood in the center of the circle and clapped to hear the squeaking penguin. (you have to be there to understand) We took pictures with James Madison who is a tiny, little man. I wondered, would he be horrified at becoming a bronze statue where giants routinely draped purple and gold beads over him, threw their arms around his neck, and took pictures for their facebook sites? That lofty scholar could never have considered such a thing.

The Love knew everything about the campus, and the buildings and told stories and directed us to points of interest along the way. The parents leg's grew crampy, hips began to hurt, feet blistered. But no one stopped smiling. We had lunch at the funny little hippy cafe. And iced coffee (thank God!) mid afternoon. Dinner was Pizza and beer in the Love's apartment. We sat and shared stories, laughed and relaxed. A "Bonding" experience is what the Love called it. And, indeed, it was.

But for me, it was also something more. I got a glimpse into the life my son had chosen to create for himself. A look at the bright shinning star he had set up to guide him. How could you not feel inspired on the green rolling campus? How could you not want to achieve with history and inspiration all around you? When we passed the football stadium, (we won 49-0) and the purple and gold streamers littered the land, a big sign hung over the side of the building, it said "Welcome JMU Parents." Was it in that moment my heart burst with pride? Or had that sign just made me aware of what had been building all throughout the long, unassuming day. I was so proud of our son. Neither of us went to college. We had turned down an untraveled road and decided to write the map as we went along. How had we made him? He is much too smart, too talented, too focused, and hard-working. He belongs on that campus where the cross-walks are painted in school colors, where the blue stone buildings lend weight to the minds who have come to learn. I could see he belonged there. I could see he was content with the choices he'd made. We drove home, exhausted, much later than we had planned. But my sleepy heart was singing, the song of a mother who finds her nestling has grown fledgling wings and is aloft upon the wind and that little piece of me that is with him always can feel the rushing air as the current lifts him ever higher.

How could I be so blessed?

(Photo by Jyothi Sacket: In the Moment Photography)

No comments: