College Visits and

Other things that make you feel old as a white-bearded Shaman

We are scheduled to take the oldest hoodlum to his second college campus visit this week. This is so weird to me since I also have been looking at colleges recently.

And by recently I mean in 1995.

It oddly doesn't sound recent when I say it that way but I swear to you it seems like not that long ago. I still wear my hair in Pippi Longstocking braids for the love of Pete, I can't be that old.

I wear funky shoes and jeans with an appropriate amount of holes. I'm young.

Until someone who is ACTUALLY young calls me ma'am.

Then I'm dirt. Because I died.


Oddly enough, even though I am well aware of my age, this new phase confuses me. I wear baseball caps and Pippi braids because its quick and gets me out the door. I wear tennis shoes with chunky heels because I'm obsessed with shoes and do not put enough stock in my appearance to warrant needing actual heels. I love walking around college campuses because I find them beautiful... and there she is. The old person rearing her head in this story.

I find campuses beautiful. I'm not there to check out if there are a multitude of hot guys (as perhaps was on my checklist in '95.) I like to hear about the history of the buildings and the changes and the new additions. I adore walking around and touring with a certain 17-year old. And he's my son.

Therein lies the shocking side. When you get to be the parent who has college-bound children, you realize somewhere between your own college life and raising this almost-college student - you did little more than take a couple camping trips and click your heels three times like Dorothy.

Stop that, you fool! Do you know what you're doing??

That's it.

That's how fast it went.

Click, click, click - you're not in Kansas anymore. You're not 17 anymore. Hell, you're not even 27 anymore.

You've got a kid heading to college. Maybe more behind that one.

So much has changed.

Except that financial aid talk. No matter how old I get, that session still bores me to tears. Thank goodness for financial-minded husbands who are willing to listen intently.

I'll just be sitting here covertly playing tic tac toe on the back of the sheet with the 17-year old.

Don't tell me to act my age.

I am.

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