Saturday, November 8, 2008

My heart-song

Occasionally, living so close to a college town stops me in my tracks. Even though UVA's setting, while beautiful, is nothing compared to my St. Mary's, I am awash with nostalgia and rememerence from time to time when confronted with the life and times of UVA students....

I took Aidan and Leo to the children's museum this morning, a great way to occupy our time while Jeff is away at clinicals. (Saturdays are hard. We all miss Jeff. It pains me when Aidan can only talk about Sunday as Jeff's only day off....and therefore how excited Aidan is for Sunday to arrive. Soon, this will all change, but the days meant for families can be tough without him.) We had a wonderful time at the museum and eating pizza at Christian's while people-watching. Strolling the downtown mall, we happened upon a group of street performers, an a capella men's group from UVA. Roughly half of the people who were there to enjoy their music were college girls, most of whom were clad in all sorts of (ridiculous) UVA attire, and all of whom were positively swooning, laughing, loving watching "their" boys. Instantly, I was taken back to my own college days, my own experience of watching the St. Mary's men's a capella group, my own memories of swooning over the cute boys, getting the inside jokes that only the students would get, and loving every moment of the event. But then the 20 pounds I had on my back (Leo, in the ergo) and the small hand holding mine brought me back to the moment, made my head spin as I felt caught between two worlds. Simultaneously, I was 16 years in the future, imagining my own two sons among that crowd of young men, beautifully singing, seeing them no longer as children but not yet grown men. Yet my visceral reaction to hearing the voices and seeing the swooning girls took me squarely back to my own college days, and a tiny part of me ached for those days now long gone. I imagine that none of those girls looked at me and thought they'd be in my shoes in just a few short years. I imagine they look at me as just another mom (albeit a young and possibly hip mom) with her two rugrats. They don't know how recent college still seems for me, that I met my now-husband my freshman year, that it seems like it was just yesterday when we attended those a capella concerts together, rode our bikes all over campus together, hung out at the bar together, and now we've got this family, these kids, this whole other life... that I would never trade or change in a million years. I am the happiest I've ever been, yet my desire to have just one more moment as that swooning young college girl was quite strong.

Relaying this story to Jeff later that day, I knew he got it, I knew he knew exactly what I was talking about. And then I realized, I still have the very best of those college days. I still have Jeff. And while he (nor I) was a part of those a capella groups, he is what makes my heart sing still today. He is the never-ending refrian of my contented, happy life. He is the other half of my heart-song. (And yes, that's a reference to Happy Feet, and no, I never would have known that as a college student - only as a young and possibly hip mom.)

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