My Life of What Ifs

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Lifetime Ago

Yesterday I returned to my Alma Mater with my husband and two daughters.  It seems a lifetime has passed since I roamed the grounds at Central Michigan University.  It's surreal that I even lived there for three years, it's as if I watched it all on TV and it was all the adventures of someone else.

Much is the same about CMU.  Yes, there are a few new stores, and yes there is a Starbucks.  I sniffed it out :)  But many of the old familiar haunts are no longer there, starting with the two apartment buildings I inhabited. 

When I returned to college in January 1994 I lived in an on-campus apartment.  I was free of the dorms but I was still on-campus.  So my rent came out of my financial aid, all other utilities were included and I could walk to class if my car took a crap.  The first of those two apartments was torn down after I lived in it (ha ha, shut up) to make room for a new music building.  The second apartment I lived in for two years, and it has since been removed to make room for a library expansion.  It's hard to point to a parking lot and explain to your 10 and six-year-old daughters "that's where Mommy lived".

We also drove by Robinson Hall where I spent the Fall of 1992 missing my boyfriend and working hard on that 1.29 grade point average. "I want to see where you slept,"  Jayden said.  Well honey, I'm thinking the teenage girl or boy who now lives in that room won't appreciate me showing up with my grouchy husband and two kids to take a look around the 12 X 12 space.  So no, wave to the building we're moving on...

Sundays were always quiet in Mt. Pleasant.  The campus is a hungover ghost town and not much is going on.  We were there for the CMU Girls Soccer game, and our girls, along with their teammates got to spend half time on a college soccer field.  They loved it.  I loved it.  The air was crisp, the sun intermittent, and I found myself hoping that one of my girls follows her Mom and becomes a Chippewa herself.  Hopefully one with a scholarship.  It was a new feeling for me, the pride of passing on a legacy to my kids.  And joy for sharing my pre-them life with them.  Of course I didn't point out the store where I bought the 3 for $5 forties, or the bar where I got smashed on my 22nd birthday and how I may not have been their Mom if I hadn't found a different ride home that night.  But I did show them Moore Hall, my second home at college.  It's a good thing that building can't talk, and I did show them where their Dad would take me to dinner when he would come to visit. 

Then as we contemplated having Pixie for dinner, or perhaps Taco Boy, my girls fell asleep in the back seat of the car and we decided to head on home.  Someday they will understand it more, and someday I will own it more and realize that all those good times were mine.

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