Perspective On The Year Ahead

17.0 and I just got home from the first real college tour – last year we did a one-off college visit to NYU in NY but that (at least in my mind) wasn’t a real tour.  This time we did two of the State University of New York (SUNY) schools that would realistically be college destinations.  While one is still in the running and one is out – my lesson was in perspective on the year ahead.

17.0 is going into her senior year of high school.  For the most part I can recall most of that year (despite it occurring more than 25 years ago.  I really don’t recall such a big focus on the college tour – but that’s a different story.

As we were walking the second SUNY school today, I asked 17.0 what she was looking for on these campuses.  I think I wanted to know what she was using as her yardstick to measure one school against another.

Her answer was interesting – she wanted to measure out the campuses (small, medium and large); find out about campus life and maybe a little about her major.

I would have thought she would be more focused on the school’s proximity to town and what living in a dorm would be like.

Just a differing perspective on the year ahead.

As we were driving home, she asked me for a reminder of when she can go for her senior portrait (tomorrow).  Then she was focused on her yearbook quote.  I can’t even recall mine.  To be honest, I can’t even recall if we had them.

My thought on them though is you need to think about your audience 10 years out.  After all once the school year ends, the yearbook is put away – and comes out right before the 10 year reunion.  I’d like to think experience gives me perspective on the year ahead – but I could be wrong.

I’m going to guess that this year will be eye-opening for me – going through a lot of changes for the first time.  It’s been a while since there was this much upheaval – the good news is, hopefully I learn something by the time 14.5 is ready for her senior year.

That’s my perspective on the year ahead.

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The College Visit

Campus.Tours_.One of the easiest ways to mark milestones in life is on birthdays.  I realize now at the end of last week I found another (and certainly the exhaustive list is not two) – 16.0 and I did her first college visit.  On a 90 degree day we wandered the West Village visiting New York University.

As we were walking between the buildings around Washington Square Park I could not help but picture 16.0 as a two or three-year old when we first brought her into the city – but now she’s a 16-year old-young lady walking with other perspective NYU undergrads.  Quite a difference – and a milestone I wasn’t quite ready for, yet there it was right in my face.

I started to look at the other parents walking along and wondered if they were having the same moment as me.  It would be surprising if they weren’t.

Almost every seasoned parent tells new parents (I can still hear the commentary loud and clear) as they are holding a new-born, “Enjoy the time, it goes quickly.”  Certainly it does.

I can remember like it was yesterday taking my girls out into the snow for the first time, the first time we got on a plane for a family vacation, the last vacation we took before Risa’s condition worsened.

Now there are new moments for 16.0 to share and embrace.  Some of them I’ll get to share in – some will be for her to experience on her own and share (if she wants) with me.

New chapters will be written, new milestones achieved – all starting with the college visit….

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You Just Never Know

Sometimes you just never knowOne of the things I’ve mostly accepted about the way my life goes is, you just never know.  There are times when life is good, and a seemingly random thing triggers a memory or thought and like Yogi Berra once said, its deja vu all over again.

The most recent example of life handing out some you just never know moments was this weekend.  We were busy.  Saturday was a long day of swimming, bouncing around and then yummy dinner.  Sunday we did a Octoberfest.  So there was a lot going on.  From time to time as people do today, I clicked over to see what was going on in Facebook world.

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It turns out last weekend was the bachelorette party for one of Risa’s best friends from college.  I knew she was getting married.  I even knew the wedding was coming up.

What I didn’t expect though was to take some time to look at the pictures and think about Risa, and how she would have been there.  It wasn’t a moment that dampened the weekend, but a moment that came out of nowhere.  You just never know when that moment will come.

I dropped a note to Risa’s friend to let her know, and I think she appreciated it.  She even reminded me of another of life’s moments I had forgotten about.  At our wedding, Risa did not toss the bouquet to the single women.  Instead she handed the bouquet to her friend telling her she was the next to be married.

I would guess it took a little longer than planned, but now she is getting married and I am sure Risa would be thrilled.

Bring it on.  You can’t prepare of these moments, you just never know.

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Reality Check

So, last night 10.5 and I got onto the subject of colleges. To her credit, she has a whole plan worked out–going from Molloy to Hofstra and onto Brandeis.

Now the context is, my mom works at Molloy, I went Hofstra and my wife went to Brandeis.

When I told her that’s generally not how people went to college, usually its one or two schools and rarely three she decided Harvard would be the right fit….

But it will be expensive.

So I made a promise if she gets in, I will pay.

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