College Life (From a Distance…)


Dear Family and Friends

Can’t hardly believe it, but two whole weeks have passed since we left #1 son in college. Seems much longer than that, actually, more like a few months. Two Saturdays ago the three of us got to campus, waited in lines, waited in other lines, waited in some more lines until finally Daniel had his keys, his books, his student card and various other necessities. Then we moved him into his dorm room, and chatted while I played Mom and made up his bed and put his clothes away. He set up his computer, we met his roomate and finally, before I lost it completely, we said goodbye and drove away. The time since then has been so filled with “stuff” that up until right this minute, I have hardly had space to sit back and realize how things have changed. After returning from San Diego Saturday night, the time ran until it was Tuesday morning and I took Shlomo to the San Francisco airport. From there I ran back to the East Bay and Oakland Airport, to pick up my friend Linda Mallah and her daughter, Danielle (age 10), for a nice visit. We had a ball, singing like crazies and actually had the best of intentions to make Halloween costumes for the girls as well. Danielle, aka Princess Lalapallooza, is set – you could put her on top of a cake, she looks so sweet. Sara couldn’t find anything that quite worked yet, and October has started to tick down. Yesterday she decided she is too old to trick or treat this year, although she and her girlfriends are planning a party. We will find something to make her into another entity for the occasion. I have heard Al Capone, Gangsters Moll, and a few others, but nothing has quite stuck as of yet. Never mind. Time still to think. When they left on Sunday morning, I was sorry to see them go, we had such a lovely time. But Sunday night they were replaced.

A very sweet Israeli girl, the daughter of one of Shlomo’s childhood classmates, called me on Saturday night. Although I don’t know her, and really barely know her parents, I remembered how very kind so very many people were to me when I was young and traveling and trying to save my pennies. So I said, “come on over – I can offer you a bed and a shower, but I really can’t do much more”. I was really charmed by her. She is 24, and while earning her keep through college saved enough money to manage herself a trip to the US for graduation. She is now halfway through a four month trip, backpacking and youth hosteling her way across the country. Alone. I have to admire her. I know what it takes to go traveling by yourself, I did Europe that way the summer I was 18, and it isn’t easy. But it is very rewarding, and you meet so many people that you would never meet were you traveling with someone else. So we talked, and I enjoyed her, and it seems she enjoyed staying here. In Israel, the biggest compliment anyone ever would give you is to say “you know, you’re NOTHING LIKE an American”. I thought about this, because in reflecting on her, my thoughts formed the words “you know, she is NOTHING LIKE an Israeli”. Hmmmm…. I enjoyed her immensely. She left Thursday morning, for regions south and to the west, as she has herself booked into Oahu and Maui, having already managed her big dream, Alaska. I wish her well.

And last night I had dinner for a cousin and a friend, and tonight a girlfriend came over for dessert and movies. So you see, I cannot feel that I am lonesome or that my life has changed. There is simply too much going on to give it a moments thought. In that manner I have managed to stay off the phone. I haven’t called Daniel (although he has called me). I have hardly even IM’ed him. He has been adjusting:to college life. The job he applied for was granted, and he is now working twelve hours a week. He has met many new friends, tried on various aspects of freedom, and, although I think he sounds awfully tired, he is doing his own thing in his own way. What can I say? I myself was best friends with all the night guards in every building on campus. Oh, those beautiful Colorado sunrises were the best. I guess I do understand.

Smoothing out the details, he is adjusting. He has pledged a frat, Sigma Phi Epsilon. Fraternities and sororities are the most foreign things I can even begin to think of, but it’s not my life. He will have to find his way and learn about himself. It is part of the process, and a most important part. I hope to find within me the ability to stand aside and let him find out who that is and what that means, without sticking my nose in too far, while not seeming too aloof. I know that I need to keep my eyes on the forest, and just not worry too much about the trees.

Sara now has her turn to be top banana. Shlomo will return home in ten days. The rhythms of my life need to adjust to this new tune. I think it is also catchy, and once I get the melody down, it will all be just fine.