My duffel bag contained the most pairs of shoes ever for an overnight stay. The brown pair worked for the afternoon but would not work later that night. Neither of those two pairs would go with the outfit the next day. Another pair needed to be packed for the trip home because tennis shoes go best with sweatpants. I tried to figure out a different wardrobe so fewer shoes could be packed, but doing that would be too much work, so all the shoes stayed in the heavy duffel bag.
When my husband and I arrived at the Senior Artist Thesis Show, no one noticed my shoes. The crowd was focused on the art pieces and followed the students as they talked about their work. We arrived in time to hear one of the students talk about her pottery creations. When she finished, we listened to another artist speak about his charcoal drawings. The only sounds we heard were shuffling feet and the voices of the students. Megan was the one we came to see. Megan has been Katie’s roommate for the last four years. I thought back to the day when they moved into their freshman dorm. By the time my husband, Katie and I arrived, Megan and her family had gotten almost all of Megan’s things in order. We arrived late because the battery went dead in our van. While we stumbled into the room with boxes and clothes falling off hangers, Megan sat quietly at her desk organizing pencils, pens and markers. Each of her books was carefully arranged on her desk with a nice supply of snacks on a shelf above. After we carted in Katie’s stuff, I worked on covering the mattress of the top bunk with sheets and blankets. As I stretched my arms as far as they could reach, I wondered how that night would go for the two of them because I didn’t think their organizational traits matched.
No matter what kind of organizational skills Katie and Megan have, they found a friend in each other. Many of their other friends were at the art show too, and they whispered how they were nervous for Megan to give her speech. Megan wasn’t sitting quietly in the corner of a dorm room arranging writing utensils any longer. It was her turn to speak. Megan talked about her works of photography surrounded by people who care. When the professor concluded the event by thanking everyone for attending, she asked us to raise our hands if we were family or friends. I was proud to raise my hand as a friend even though I was far from college aged! 🙂
After taking a closer look at the individual pieces of artwork, my husband and I went to check into our hotel room. While Mike put on a nice suit and tie, I stayed in jeans but changed into a dressy blouse and black shoes. We met Katie’s roommates and parents at a little fancier place. It was nice to introduce myself as Katie’s mom to the parents I hadn’t met before. It seems like as more time goes by, the less chances there are to introduce myself as my kids’ mom. As we munched away on burgers, salads, sandwiches or wraps, we listened to the students future plans and learned about upcoming events as they counted the days until graduation.
The next stop was a little get together before the father daughter dance in one of the senior student’s apartments where I was introduced as Katie’s mom a few more times. The moms stayed in the apartment chatting while the fathers and daughters went to their event. During our conversations, I couldn’t help but notice how some of the moms’ shoes looked nicer and newer than mine. Some were ornate while mine looked blah. When the dance was over, we walked over to the very crowded local bar to be all together again. Even though my shoes looked comfortable, my feet hurt. Mike and I decided to leave around midnight because the music was too loud. It wasn’t worth staying if I couldn’t be heard, hear, or introduce myself as Katie’s mom!
The next morning, I dressed in black pants, a white blouse, and a nicer pair of black shoes. I met Katie at her apartment, and we walked over to the mother daughter brunch with Megan and her mom. A big table lined up with mimosas greeted us. After we wandered around a little and a few more introductions were made, we found a table and sat with Katie’s roommates and their moms. We listened to a couple of speakers, ate a wonderful brunch of chicken Kiev, cheesy potatoes, an egg dish, spinach salad, fruit and banana bread. After we played and lost a couple of games that involved a coin toss and who had the most stuff in their purse, we listened to one of Katie’s friends and her mom talk about how their struggles made them closer.
When the brunch was over, I stopped by Katie’s apartment to change into sweatpants, a t-shirt and tennis shoes. It was hard to say good-bye after such a nice weekend. Thinking about shopping for more shoes for future celebrations helped make me feel better!
A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present,
and the hope and promise of the future. ~Author Unknown