I was standing at the corner of Thames and Prospect Hill at some point recently — thinking I'd never noticed the schooner sailing across the street sign (do other signs have it?) — when it occurred to me that we've turned our own little corner, Mr. Betty and I. We're in a different place, parentally and otherwise, with different prospects (and hills) facing us ...
Take this past weekend, for instance. First I drove Darling Daughter back to college, where we arrived rather late (by my clock): pushing midnight. The school sits, as most do, atop a hill. And when we pulled up to the dorm to unload several trash bags (who needs suitcases?) full of clothes, shoes and ski equipment (just in case the opportunity arises), it became apparent immediately, given the roar upon opening the door, that there was a party underway.
I offered to go around. To take my (DD's) trash bags and trudge through the snow to another entry, lest she be mortified at having her mom in tow. Nothing doing. She didn't care (!); we marched straight through. And no sooner were we inside than some REALLY BIG GUY pulled my little baby girl into a way-too-affectionate welcome-back-to-college (drunken) hug with cries of, "DD!!"
Well, I just stood there, feeling pretty old — even though "college" felt so close at that moment it almost could have been my own dorm, my own party, but here I was holding my nearly-grown daughter's trash bags, though I have no idea (really I don't) how that happened — until the guy-in-question finally looked up over DD's shoulder, and I dragged myself back to the here-and-now fast enough to say, "Don't mind me. I'm just her mom."
Whereupon he set upon me with the same uber-hug treatment and exclamations of: "DD's Mom!!"
Mind you, I'd never seen this guy/kid/man in my life.
So, when we finally made it to DD's room, I asked (of course), "Who was he?"
"Oh, he was in one of my classes. He's ..... outgoing."
And then, after driving home (solo) the next day, I regrouped with Mr. Betty and we loaded up our own winter gear (in duffles) and headed North to join Super Son, Super Girlfriend and a gang of their college friends amid another party-of-sorts involving another hill-of-sorts: a ski weekend. They wanted us to come. Seriously, we gave them every out, every excuse, and they just kept saying, "We really hope you guys can make it ... "
So, now that we've turned whatever corner that is (rounded the mark, perhaps?), we need only hope for smooth sailing from here on out, or as smooth as possible, at least for a little while, with nary a thought about looming bridges let alone the inevitable downward spiral ...