I woke up this morning remembering all the days that I waited with my daughter for the big yellow bus at the end of our driveway on the first day of school. Today, she starts classes at her college, and I wonder what she is wearing. It was always a big deal for her to decide what to wear on the first day of school.
While I drank my coffee, I found these photos of us with our dear sweet old dog, Pepper, waiting for the bus at the beginning of fourth grade and emailed them to her. I’m feeling very nostalgic these days but I’m glad that I knew enough to appreciate, as each year went by, how special it was and how fast the time would go. It’s strange to hear the sound of the school bus lumbering past our house each morning while I’m still in bed. The horses have learned that breakfast is served an hour later now that I don’t have to get up at 5 am to rouse the sleeping child, make her breakfast and lunch and be sure that she troops out to the end of the driveway on time.
Last Friday, my daughter registered for classes at her school for the first time, and it was an unexpected drama. She had written to two professors and secured her spot in their classes, was automatically assigned a place in the mandatory Freshman Year Seminar, and had only one more class to fill. Armed with a list of many possibilities that she wanted to take, she charged into the battleground of hundreds of students rushing from table to table and line to line to sign up. At each very long line that she waited in, just as she approached the table, they would announce, “This class is now closed!” So, along with everyone else, she’d rush to another line. It was insane and frustrating.
I was worrying about her and texting back and forth as I ran my errands to get pine shavings for the barn and something to cook for dinner. In the grocery store, my phone rang, and I heard my child repeat the line that I have often wailed when I reach the end of my rope: “I just feel like I’m going to cry!” She had been told that she should wait until the list of open classes was compiled over the weekend and then pick from what was left on it. Not acceptable.
I gave her a big pep talk about going back in and grabbing a professor in one of the areas that she needed for her major and charming him. And I’m proud to tell you that’s what she did. She found a political studies teacher, explained to him what her problem was, and it just so happened that some kid had moments before suddenly dropped one of his classes and a spot had opened up, so he offered it to her. It was a really good fit, a subject that was perfect for her. She stuck to it and learned that this don’t-give-up attitude pays off. “You are my hero!” she told him, the phrase that her grandmother was famous for saying. I’ve been known to use it myself on occasion.