The reference on the seal of Goucher College is from 1 Thessalonians 5:21. Given the emphasis on a diverse liberal arts education, writing, speaking, and critical thinking, this seems to be a good fit. Aside from being a good motto for an institution of higher learning, it also seems to be a good motto for life. Spending the day in Washington, DC with our eldest daughter also gave me time to reflect on what is good in life.
Our eldest and I have always had a good relationship, a bit difficult at times because we can both be so headstrong, but nothing too dramatic. And yet, as I have heard it said in at least some of the many college visits and information sessions, parents and students may find their relationships strengthened by the separation as the transition to college takes place. This, at least, has been my experience.
At Thanksgiving our daughter had only been away from home a few weeks, but since we visited her in mid-October we really hadn’t been apart all that long. Christmas and New Year’s holidays then saw her at home for about three weeks. But it has definitely felt longer, and it had been longer this time – about three months (not like we’ve been counting) – until our visit yesterday (now last week). Unfortunately we couldn’t all come because of other events, school, and work on Monday and Tuesday, but middle daughter and I took a side day trip Sunday to Washington and spent the day with her older sister.
We met up by the Marvin Center and took the Metro to Capitol South and Eastern Market. It was already warm and sunny, spring much more in evidence in Washington than at home five hundred miles to the north. The three of us browsed the vendors with antiques, arts and crafts, and just miscellaneous stuff. Lunch was at The Plaza, a Mexican-Salvadoran restaurant on Independence, we strolled the Mall, rediscovered the Enid Haupt gardens, and took the Metro back to Foggy Bottom for a walk to Georgetown.
We kept finding little things to do until I decided to retrieve the car and we drove over to the Lincoln Memorial. It seems we can’t go to Washington without stopping there. The three of us sat on the back of the memorial just watching traffic on the Arlington Memorial bridge, the planes landing at Reagan National, and the sunset. Before it really got dark we decided it was time to go. We said goodbye at the memorial; our eldest insisted she’d be fine walking the few blocks back to her dorm.
It will only be another three weeks or so now before I drive back to Washington to pick up (and pack up) our daughter to bring her home for the summer. Knowing that didn’t make leaving her behind any easier. Leaving her in Washington last August was supposed to be the hard part. But the experience reminded me of the things in life that stand the test and are the things we hold on to.