We drove the Girl up to Ottawa last Friday evening so we could attend an orientation session for Carleton University.
Hard to believe. My daughter’s only got 45 more days with us before she heads off to really start living her own life. I’m still coming to grips with that.
Anyway, the traffic was absolutely fine and the weather was amazing for the entire trip there and back. In fact, this was the first time we’d driven to the campus and not hit either snow or sleet. Being that it’s mid-July, I’d be a little concerned if we had, but still…
It was a great day, starting with a talk by the president of the university, Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, then on to one of the profs, and then the rest of the day was turned over to the various Carleton students who were all very upbeat, very professional and extremely helpful. Gives me hope for our future and makes me feel even better about the Girl going off to Carleton…not that I had any reservations.
But the one thing that stuck with me through the day came from Dr. Runte. She talked about driving into the school that morning and taking a moment to just enjoy a perfect moment–the perfect blue of the sky, the early morning quiet. She went on to talk about all those other perfect moments that happen in a life: winning a competitive event, performing well on an exam, meeting someone new…and starting at university.
What struck me was what she then said, that I found completely true. That, when you win that competitive event, you may be exhausted, when you do well on that exam, you’re probably still a little stressed over it, when you meet someone new, you’re worried about making a good impression. And in university, there’s so much to worry about: the money, you don’t know anyone, that new rez roommate, leaving home, how much work it’s going to be, your marks, the freshman 15 curse (marks go down by 15%, body weight increases 15 pounds)…
And yet, this is one of those absolutely perfect moments that only seem to be truly captured in a movie. The young starlet walks on to the school grounds after long panning shots of others chatting on the grassy areas, a group throwing a frisbee, a good looking guy catching a football, trendy music in the background, the sun shining, and that young starlet turns to her very best friend, who’s just happened to come to the same school, and says something Hollywood, like, “This is the beginning of our future!” Then they head toward some educational edifice…maybe bumping into that cute football catching guy who you just know will either turn out to be a jerk or a wonderful guy but he has a horrible terminal disease that will take him before the end of the year…
Or something like that.
But my point is, this IS a perfect moment. There’s not too many points in your life that you can point to and say, “There, right there. That was a life-changing moment.”
I can point to a few. Meeting my future wife in a mall. My wedding day. The birth of my two kids. A call from an employer that set me down a completely different path. My roommate coming home to tell me she was never going to teach night school at Durham College again (which lead to the longest running job I’ve ever had).
There’s a few. But you know what?
I still didn’t stop and take in the fact that these were turning points in my life. Perfect moments.
We really should stop and take note of these more often. I hope my daughter does.