Saturday, October 5, 2013

Going Back to College as an Old Lady

 A final picture of Connor's football team after their last game.  
 Cooper slipped on big brother's football gear.  Sure wish he was wearing this helmet on Thursday night when he ended up with a head wound.  One ER visit and two staples later, he is fine.
 We took our annual pilgrimage down to Bloomington to visit our alma mater Indiana University with my brother Matt, sister-in-law Heather, and my niece and nephew.
 Per tradition, we snapped a photo outside the Sample Gates.
 The kids broke into the Indiana fight song.  
 Caleb was terribly embarrassed.
 My brother Matt, sister-in-law Heather, nephew Will, and niece Caroline.  
 A true fan!
 After we ate our way across campus, we let the kids run around the Arboretum. 
 No surprise, Cooper was the first one in the water.  
 They were desperate to find creatures.  

Cousins.  So sweet!

Two decades ago, I was a coed at Indiana University.  I found the campus absolutely charming.  My college hometown boasted stately limestone buildings surrounded by woods, brooks, and green space.  Bloomington's infamous Kirkwood Avenue was an experience (people watching at its finest!).

After graduation, I felt an urge to return....again and again.  I wanted to walk those same steps, stand in the same space and relive old memories.  I longed to introduce my children to the campus that caught my heart and refused to let go.

My husband, also a grad, felt the same.  So did my brother and his wife, fellow alumni.  And so we decided to make an annual trip together, a pilgrimage of sorts to our college hometown.

Today, we descended on campus.  I noticed that many things remained the same.  The same watering holes still doted the street.  The Sample Gates retained their spot as a ceremonial entrance to the campus.  The sweet shop offered the same coveted baked goods.

But other things had changed.  

The coeds were different.  

My sister-in-law noticed it first.  Most female coeds seemed to sport the same look: snug jean shorts cut to the length of standard undergarments paired with a tight tee.  On behalf of all their mothers, I wanted to engulf each and every one of them in a big terry cloth robe and cover up exposed thighs and other body parts.

And while the males wore more modest attire, many acted like total loons.  Silly antics, boisterous chants, drunken shenanigans...we saw it all.

As I soaked in my surroundings, I realized the coeds may not have changed as much as I have.  I've finally landed at the spot where I'm closer to the age of the parent of the coed rather than the age of the coed.  (How did that happen?)  And let me tell's terrifying!

As we walked along campus, I clutched Cooper's hand.  I said, "Promise me you'll spend all your time in college at the library."

He flashed me a grin.  

A smile that worries me.  

I imagine I'll have many sleepless nights by the time the boys hit college.



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