It was the first week of August 1997, probably about 7:30 am. I got dressed in something that I’m certain must’ve captured the feel of my angst-ridden, 17-year old, 105-pound body, walked down four flights of stairs (the bottom flight spiraled), probably got out a map of campus, and trekked a good 15 to 20 minutes before arriving. Confused at first, I realized I had to enter the building and head straight to the basement, turn left, and walk through the door. I sat down in a dusty classroom that I would never forget. It was perfect; paint peeling off the walls, random chairs and other things off to the sides, the smell of age and feel of brilliance. The girl in front of my was my best friend’s dorm friend from the previous year. I can still remember her gentle British accent. The guy in front of me to the left had a dark-haired ponytail with stray hairs that came out from underneath, like he was trying to grow out hair that was once shaved. He became the teacher’s pet. My professor was Dr. Duckworth, a much older, shorter, stockier gentleman with white hair.
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
(John Keats, except from “Ode on a Grecian Urn”)
The class was CRW 1301 – Beginning Poetry Writing. My first college course ever. I remember reading “Ode on a Grecian Urn”. Once you could get past how much our language has changed since the days of Romantic poets from the early 1800s, it’s an amazing poem about how artwork captures an unchanging moment. It’s the moment of excitement before all things happen. Before the song ends (or even begins), before lips meet, before we age past a point of virginal beauty. A blissful moment is captured. A moment of hope and pure joy. I captured that moment when I stepped through those doors in August 1997. It’s etched in my memory forever. I captured it again this morning in an incredible digital image.
It’s a moment in time that I cannot capture ever again. We cannot physically relive it, but through our memories, through photographs, we can experience that moment of pure joy and excitement over and over again. I am so happy for Lydia. I am so proud of the incredible little girl that she has become. She is so smart, so caring, so compassionate, so full of life and love, and so beautiful in all ways possible.
When I worked at a pubic elementary school from 2005 – 2008, they held a “Boo hoo breakfast” for the parents dropping off kindergarten students for the first time. Before becoming a parent, I remember thinking “Wait, parents are sad when they dropped their kids off at school??” but from my experiences last year, bringing Lydia to PreK, I totally understood… until this year. I was filled with nothing but pride and joy this morning. I know Lydia will be so successful. She will amaze us every day, as she always has!
She posed with her teacher, sat at her desk, and got right to work. She wrote her name on her paper and was ready to color as I gave her a kiss, reminded her that I love her, and walked away with a smile on my face ear-to-ear. Watching our children grow should not come with tears of sadness… just moments of pure joy and gratitude. I am so grateful to have such an amazing daughter! My baby, my big girl, is starting kindergarten.