She’s in the World

22 Jan

The holiday is usually officially over when the decorations are put away and my husband drags the dry, naked tree out to the curb, but this year it officially ended for me yesterday. My daughter’s month-long break was over and although she loves being home and I love having her, we were both itching for her to get back to school.

We had a great time together as we always do–we’re sort of homebodies so we lounged and watched movies, read together,  flipped through fashion magazines, snuggled and talked and talked and talked. We went out to dinner, cooked–well I did–she baked. What I noticed after her first semester away is that the bickering is gone. It’s so nice to be with this young adult who is no longer snapping when I’ve asked what she’s deemed too many questions. She wasn’t criticizing the “slave braids” that I wear around the house or even my endless preference for watching depressing movies. It was just great.

After the car was packed and she kissed and hugged her dad, her brother and our dog (he gets the most hugs), we were off, blasting Drake and Earth, Wind and Fire on the way. Before we had a chance to settle into a good conversation, we both noticed how quickly we’d gotten to our exit on the  New York State Thruway. Perhaps we were itchy but still…

We were minutes away from the place where she now lives. As soon as I turned on to the campus, she saw  some of her friends. I pulled the car over and the screaming started–Matilde just back from her home in Paris and Andrea back from Sydney, Australia.

photo-2 Baldwin got out, there were hugs and high-pitched chattering. From across the street her friend Wade, just in from San Francisco, spotted her and streaked across the street, his bright red hair blowing behind him; louder screams, tighter hugs and immediate plans were made for the group to “hook up at the Hill.”

We dragged her luggage, enough for several people, up the circular staircase and inside her dorm room where she was greeted by more  screeching proclamations of love this time from her roommate Nabila, just back from her Hong Kong home and her suitemate Layla, who is from Kuwait; Alexandra, who’s from Charleston, SC  and  Munga, originally from Lagos, but his family home is in Geneva, Switzerland.

As I unpacked the large suitcase in order to take it back home, I  listened to them chat away. Layla was jet-lagged, all of them said they were happy to be back at school. I love that they’re literally from all over the world and that Baldwin is having this kind of college experience. She’s as at home here in this world, at Wal-Mart in the middle of Pennsylvania, and, happily, at home with us.

3 Responses to “She’s in the World”

  1. Jones Njrsygrlnatl January 22, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    Benilde, I have read everything you have written and I am not about to stop now…You are an amazing writer and friend. I love your spirit! Much continued success and blessings to you and your family.

    • Benilde Little February 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

      Thank you my love–we go all the way back to Barbies and braids with barrettes

  2. gglbs January 23, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    Loved reading this B. I don’t have any children. This was my greatest dream that just didn’t come true for me. It makes me sad sometime, but I chosen to live vicariously through my sister, Meloney and all of my friends whom all have children. Thank you for sharing your Breakdown.

    Love Ya, Cheryl

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