I’ve been wanting to take Annabel and James to Exposition Park in Los Angeles all summer, but we were finally able to swing it yesterday. Annie has only been there for the annual March For Babies walk, and James has obviously never been, but I spent four of the best years of my life there because that’s where my university is located.
When I told Annie that the school Mommy, Daddy, and Uncle Kyle went to was right across the street from the museums and Rose Garden we were exploring, she got excited. “Can we go there, Mama?” I wasn’t expecting her to care, honestly. But I liked her enthusiasm, so we detoured onto the campus. James was dressed fortuitously:
The first thing we came across was the statue dedicated to USC’s unofficial mascot, George Tirebiter. Annabel went crazy because OMG PRACTICE DOG.
James was like, “I prefer living dogs.”
When we walked a bit further onto campus, we discovered it was Freshmen Move-In Day. We did some quick math and realized that the incoming freshmen weren’t even born when Mike moved into his dorm. I moved in sixteen years ago, which broke my brain a bit. I’ve lived through a lot, but in many ways I feel like my internal age is mid-twenties. Unfortunately, I am no longer being mistaken for a college student because my outsides do not match my insides, especially when I have two small kids with me! The students were looking at me like I was one of their parents, the parents were looking at me like, “Enjoy your babies, it goes so fast.”
The funny thing is that I wanted to say the same thing to the new freshmen. Enjoy college, it goes so fast.
Since the campus was busting with excited freshmen and nervous parents, we didn’t explore the way I’d have liked to, but Annabel didn’t mind. She had fun looking at the two statues in the center of campus.
I watched her pose and thought about the times a different version of me posed in those very same places. I was nostalgic but excited for these new freshmen. I let myself imagine that we’d successfully raised Annie and James to age eighteen and we were about to drop them off at college…but then I stopped myself, because first I have to make it through preschool drop-off.