College Tour

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If you spend any time around cars in Westchester, you may notice the back window stickers.  Some tribal branding that has little significance to anyone other than the driver.

  We went to some of those places this week, the ones that are so prominently displayed on the back window.  Yup, that was us, finding a perfect college for my son in five days.  We generously brought him along.

Is there a better way to test the bonds of family then a five-day road trip?   We started off all kumbaya with our meditation tape and kale-ginger shake and ended up world wrestling smack down even before we got to the highway.   Nothing brings out the love more than trying to arrange a person’s entire life for them. 

What an education, and you don’t even know what you are looking at!  Class sizes, vegetarian options, SATs, ethnic diversity – it reminds me of touring hospitals before the birth of my first son; asking all the questions, thinking you know what you are looking at but not having a clue.

So perhaps it is the same with touring colleges with your oldest – excel spreadsheet in hand, cooling evaluating all the variables to find the perfect one.  All while ignoring the fact that your child is leaving you.

It is so much easier to look at the variables rather than to face the emptiness.   My friend Dana used to say when our kids were in kindergarten that parenting is all about getting your child to a place where they can leave home.  And the older I get the more I understand this.  I mean, my brain understands this – my heart is a little slow.

Families are fluid; the players change over time.  The sweet pain of attachment, watching our children grow and our parents age and knowing that nothing is forever.  So enjoy that road trip now.  The rest stop is coming up.

Groundhog Day

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I really didn’t think I’d be using this photo two months in a row…but how can I resist?  I’m writing this at home in my living room while one son is writing an essay beside me on his laptop, my husband takes a conference call in the attic, and another son is shoveling the driveway.  Thor is Storm Number 17, people, and counting.  But who’s counting?  

 

This may be a good time to bring up Groundhog Day.

 

Anyone else love this movie?  Can I see a show of hands?  I know, isn’t it great!  For the uninitiated, Bill Murray plays a mess of a man, who gets lost in the present moment for a millennia — trapped in time, like an insect in resin, or Westchesterites in the Winter of 2015.  When faced with the same snow day, after snow day, after snow day, after snow day, this narcissistic windbag evolves from a creature who feeds his most base desires to a Buddha who frees himself from worldly desires and in so doing frees the world from suffering. 

So imagine, if you will, you are in your own Groundhog Day.  That’s where I am!   Right now it feels as if we’ve had the same snow day forever.  But one day the snow will melt.  My kids will leave the house.  One day I will leave the house and time will march on.  But for now, in this moment, in the middle of my own snowday millennia, what small choices can I make to do the most good for the most people?  Listening to my children?  A phone call to a friend?  Holding off on the car horn?  Practicing fifteen minutes of yoga?  These small, small choices we make, this is the fabric from which our life is woven.