Monday, February 24, 2014

My Life In Metaphor

Of all the oddities I have posted in this space over the last going-on-four years, this may be the oddest. In fact, when I stuck my phone through the bars of the hotel swimming pool fence to snap it Husband thought I was wasting pixels.

"What in the world would you want a picture of that for?" he asked me.

"I don't know, but isn't it the coolest thing you've ever seen? And don't you think I'll be able to come up with some kind of metaphor so I can use it?"

Husband and I visited Boy#4 at Far Away University over the weekend. We drove 7 1/2 hours south on Friday then 7 1/2 hours back north on Sunday in order to spend 36 hours with our youngest kid, for no reason at all. We hadn't been to Far Away University all year, what with the Wedding of the Century pretty much consuming every waking moment during the fall and tax season doing the same during the spring. It struck us a few weeks ago, though, that in a couple of months Four will graduate and at that point we will have no more undergraduate children.

This is good, of course. Our budget will holler HOORAY! at the thought of cutting the cord on phone plans, insurance coverage, car repairs, etc. But this is also a moment for a little sigh that all of our children are full-fledged adults with the college degrees to prove as much.

So we drove to the city two states away where we've been visiting our Boys for so many years. If I'm calculating this right, Boy#1 made his first campus visit here12 years ago. A full dozen years that we've been schlepping couches and mini-fridges up and down the interstate, and now we've come within one trip of the end of that road. We'll be back for graduation in May, and then, who knows? Maybe never again.

We spent the weekend visiting our favorite antique store one last time (bargains!), eating wonderful Mexican food (deliciosa!), and quizzing Four. Did he need anything? Could I take him to the barber--it looks like a haircut is way overdue? How are classes going? (The answers to these were no, no way, and fine. Also, he promises to get a haircut tomorrow.)

We've had weekends with college kids when class stress was high and we had to walk the fine line between sympathy and encouragement. There have been visits when questions about post-college employment or graduate school choices thickened the air with uncertainty. This weekend wasn't one of those weekends--the heaviest subject that came up was that haircut.

It was a good weekend when the most exciting thing we saw was an upright beer bottle making laps around the swimming pool, perfectly balanced and catching the tiny current caused by the filters to stay afloat.

And right there is your metaphor: These days I'm like a beer bottle in a swimming pool, staying afloat, just enjoying the sunshine and currents.


  1. Once again, brilliantly written! Long-time fan.

    1. You're too kind, Anonymous, and because you could be anyone I meet today I will be assuming every single person I meet is kind. Nice way to start the day!