This weekend I went back to Yale for my tenth college reunion. We went back. To that beautiful campus. To those beautiful years.
We logged many hours reminiscing and reconnecting under a vast white tent on Old Campus. The weekend was stuffed with familiar faces and rich conversations and contagious laughter and even beer pong. Many things, so many things, made me smile.
One thing? Seeing my books displayed in the lobby of the hotel.
But one of the most amazing things about this weekend had nothing to do with parties and people from my past. That amazing thing? My two little girls. Husband and I took them to Old Campus on Saturday morning when it was very quiet and pretty empty. We plopped our creatures down in the candy green grass and let them roam and explore. They ran and ran and jumped and giggled. They sniffed out the little white flag above. Which made me smile because we surrender to these little ones countless times a day.
The girls insisted on playing with the stakes of the big white tent even though we told them that it wasn't safe.
They spotted a mysterious beige object outside of Connecticut Hall. And had great fun banging it like a drum before we read the faded writing on it and realized that it contained some kind of poison. (Why are kids magnetically attracted to danger?)
They ran. At times together. At times separately. They skipped toward each other. And in different directions.
We walked along stone paths and checked out the trucks unloading lunch.
We walked through archways between Here and There. Then and When.
I watched Baby stroll down Elm Street, the same street I walked so many times clutching books and gummy candy. And dreams.
The girls looked for animals.
They chased squirrels.
And each other.
Toddler ran so fast. Leaving a mess of golden curls in her wake.
She stopped every now and then. To take it all in perhaps.
But then she kept going.
Yesterday, Husband let me sleep in. He took the girls on a "safari adventure" around campus. He snapped this shot of his two little women at the Women's Table, the scene of some delightful debauchery of latter day. The scene of so many stories. And good ones.
He caught the girls being silly. Doing their job. Having fun.
And today. I'm home again. On my new campus. Today I look at this picture of my girls, my creations, on the campus I love deeply, the campus that in so many ways created me, and I am flooded with memories and affection and awe. Today I look at this picture and tears, sweet blissful Bulldog tears, come.
And to them, I surrender.
- Have you taken your kids to your alma maters or other seminal places of your youth?
- Do you remember visiting your parents' schools when growing up?
- Do you agree that it's important and necessary to surrender to our kids and our emotions from time to time?
**"Do you ever feel like a book comes into your life at a time when you really need it? It's like some force in the world told me that I needed to read Aidan Donnelley Rowley's book, Life After Yes, at this point in my life... can't rave enough about this book and I encourage you to go and find your own copy asap!! I am eagerly anticipating more from this author in the future!! This book whole-heartedly deserves the Five Star CRAZY AMAZING review!" Click here to read the rest of the review over at Crazy for Books.**
**The second installment of the online Life After Yes book club is up over at Motherese. Yet again, Kristen provides an incredibly thoughtful analysis of my work and asks wonderful questions (that I am tempted to answer!). In the event that you missed it, also check out last week's discussion. I cannot tell you how meaningful it has been for me to witness such rich conversation about my book.**