By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi
Today I sit in the library of the law school my daughter is again visiting. I am the chauffeur for the second look at this law school located less than ninety minutes from our home. While she has several other schools to visit over Spring Break, this law school feels like coming home, not only because of the geographical proximity to our hometown, but because of the impression the students, faculty, and staff have made.
I am seated next to a series of large windows overlooking a forested area surrounding the law school. The beauty of the landscape is impressive. Even the adjacent 1870’s building, recently refurbished, exudes a classical aura. The gray squirrels scampering across the courtyard between the law buildings struck a piquant note with me, perhaps since only chunky chestnut colored squirrels raid our bird feeder at home.
This whole experience has a curious sense of déjà vu about it: Over four years ago I accompanied Anjelica on a return visit for prospective admitted undergraduate students at the university she ultimately attended. She was excited and nauseous at the prospect of going away to college. In spite of her trepidation and tears, she forged ahead. That first semester was rough emotionally. Her cadre of high school friends had scattered; only she had opted for the gargantuan campus downstate. But once she hit her stride, she thrived; once she pledged a sorority, went to London and Paris with several favorite professors, she never looked back.
We arrive again at a crossroads. Four years older, more poised, more confident, ready to tackle law school, she begins to pursue her dream. Gazing at her, I remember when I decided to chase a graduate degree in linguistics. That same fire blazes in her about studying law. Sometimes she worries maybe she will find law school is not her cup of tea.
“If it’s not, then you go with your Backup Plan. The world won’t end,” I tell her.
I do not need to reinvent any perceived thwarted academic aspirations through her. While we talk or text almost daily, I understand that she has begun to live her life, knowing I am her familial anchor, come what may.
I continue to learn how to gently let go as she soars into becoming the Anjelica of her own invention.
Ciao for now.