Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Different Eyes

Today, several decades after my own college graduation, I took my daughter to explore my alma mater. It was a day trip--easy, blessed by good weather, and part of an exploratory process that has taken, and will continue to take, us all over.

I was determined to be just the driver--simply the person who got her there, and accompanied her on the tour and to the information session, not the person filling her head with stories of "when I was in college." After all, my experience was many years ago. She is coming from a different childhood, looking for different things, living in a different time. (Let's just say that while I was excited to take one of the earliest Mac computers--floppy disks and all--to college for typing my papers, she was excited to see that there was visitor Wifi all over the campus.)

As we strolled through the grounds, I tried to reconnect with my own walks there during four years so long ago. I remembered certain buildings and pathways. I had flashes of moments when the place was my whole life. I remembered meals and certain accomplishments. And yet, I actually had no memory of ever entering some of the buildings we saw or even considering some of the questions she asked.

Would I choose it again? Maybe. Just as she is different from me, I suppose that I too am quite different from the me who was taking these tours all those years ago. What we see on one day can look very different than what we see on another, and each thing we do or experience allows us to see the next thing with different eyes.

Today, I took my daughter to explore my alma mater. It was fun for me to see it through different eyes--both hers, and mine all these years later. We may have only one pair of eyes, but when we are able to glance just a little differently, or to borrow someone else's pair, just for a moment, it is kind of amazing what we can see. A little forward, a little back. And almost always, more than what we ever saw on our own.

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