A remarkable thing happened to me today. I experienced a transformation the speed of which, if captured and stored, could power some of the larger U.S. cities. I helped my daughter move into her dorm room, and found myself morphing from a Young Chickie-Babe into an Old Hennie-Wench. There, surrounded by hordes of young, nubile, tight-limbed girls, all with their futures spread before them like so much peanut-butter and jelly, I felt my age wrap around me the way support hose do varicose veins.
Odd, really. College has always sat right at the surface of my memory. I was just there, running from class to class, flopping myself and my books onto the grass of the quad to catch some sun and avoid reading, going to football games and having tortillas--the unruly-crowd missile of choice at that time--hit me in the back of the head, waiting for my test scores from the hideously noisy ink-jet printer (which got noisier when it found incorrect answers) in the testing center, eating at the campus food-trough, and flirting with boys in social dance classes, a mere ten minutes ago. It has always felt like yesterday.
And it's a little trick of time that helps me go into denial when I look into a mirror now and am shocked by what I see. I think about college, and wuhBAM! The years melt away and I am . . . well, if not nubile, at least youthful again. It also helps that my brain hasn't aged a lot, despite a boatload of experience. (Read: I'm still immature, even though I have stretch marks that could wrap around the world twice.)
So, I figure today's little reality check was just a hiccup. One that will smooth itself out the minute I get home and flip through some old college pictures, and programs from shows I was in. I could make all that time disappear in the merest flash.
Or, I could just bask in the years it took for my daughter to become the marvelous young adult she is today, and throw away the putty knife and support hose. I've got a good thing going with that kid, and I want everyone to know she's mine. I guess I can embrace my inner (Read: outer) Hennie-Wench.