Thanksgiving got me thinking, and I’m gonna be straight up about it: I miss my kids.
As I’ve chronicled here before, we’ve got one in the state of Washington, where she’s a junior nursing major at Washington State University. Go Cougs!
And, we’ve got one who graduated last year from the University of Oklahoma — Boomer Sooner! — and is now a “2L” at SMU law school in Dallas. (Last but not least, Pony Up!)
We’re gonna have the bases covered, my wife and I. One to watch over our medical health, and one to get us out of any legal trouble we might get into.
Not that we’re planning on it. But when you live on the edge like Erin and I do….
I couldn’t be more proud of both of them. They’re good human beings who also aren’t afraid of a little mischief. They’ve both grown immensely and benefited from the experience they both wanted after growing up in the Santa Clarita Valley.
And that is, going to college somewhere else.
As much as I would have loved to keep them close to home, it’s been a joy to watch them both broaden their horizons and get the “full” college experience.
They’ve both earned every opportunity they’ve been given, and they’ve both seized on those opportunities.
My son went to OU in large part because he wanted the “big university” experience while also being able to continue playing competitive hockey. It didn’t hurt that he already had a couple of friends, a year older, who were on the OU hockey team and encouraged him to join them.
Four years later, he had become a die-hard Sooner.
Our daughter wanted the “college town” experience. When she was a high school senior, she and my wife visited several schools, and the one Brooke fell in love with was WSU, situated in the small town of Pullman, Washington. It’s a place where the entire town lives and breathes the university. They get four real seasons. There are miles and miles of wheat between Pullman and the nearest thing you would call a “city.”
At WSU their slogan is “we always find our way back home.” For Brooke, that’s been true on multiple levels.
When Luc graduated from OU, he applied to a few law schools that intrigued him, including a couple closer to home. I admit, I was rooting for those. But he found another great opportunity in the Central time zone and ended up moving just a few hours south of Norman, Oklahoma, to Dallas, where SMU beckoned.
So now we see the kids a few times a year. My wife and I take turns visiting each kid in the spring and fall, and their summer visits home are starting to dwindle as internships take a priority. Soon, it will be professional opportunities.
So that leaves the holidays. And this immediate past Thanksgiving, one of the two got on a plane.
With her cat in tow, Brooke boarded a plane in Spokane.
Was she headed to LAX? No.
Burbank? Uh, no.
Dallas. She went to Dallas. To visit her brother.
OK, I’m only kidding with the parental guilt trip. I’m actually pleased as punch that my kids, six years apart in age, are close enough that when they get a chance, they want to go see each other and check out their separate non-Santa Clarita Valley environments.
And, in just a few weeks, we get to experience something that only happens occasionally now: both kids, home for the holidays, at the same time.
There will be late-night high jinks. There will be some major in-person catching up. There will be smack talk and needling, because any room with all four of us in it is a tough room.
I can’t wait.
Boomer Sooner. Go Cougs. Pony Up.
And come home soon.
Tim Whyte is editor of The Signal.