Last Sunday I was at a college tour with my son Cameron and as I looked around at the other parents and their kids – I stopped in my tracks: I saw a really stylish mom wearing a dress with fitted, ankle-length boots to die for! They were black with a kind of mesh material and I was mesmerized. I saw this mother and son pair several times throughout the day and each time I noticed something else about these boots. I smiled to myself, too, because we were in the heart of Manhattan and only in New York would you see a mother dressed this way for a college tour!
Of course, I did pay attention at the tour. I paid attention when we checked in and listened to the student panel; I paid attention when we toured the dorm; I paid attention (especially) during the admission and financial aid discussion; and I paid attention when we walked the streets and talked to the many student tour guides who shared their admiration of the school. But, those boots! They stayed on my mind throughout the day.
I find inspiration in everything around me. I see something in a window, in a magazine, or in this case, in the heart of Washington Square Park, during a college tour. Fashion is more than the clothes. It is about self expression and finding a way to be in the world – to be the me I want to be. Everything spurs my imagination. This is how my mind works!
A mother is many things: teacher, nurse, disciplinarian, cook, mentor, driver-and-overall-chauffeur-which-leads-eventually-to-driving-instructor, doctor, leader, follower. And in those rare and beautiful sun-filled moments, a mother is a friend to her child. I was a friend the last few days as my son and I ventured on to college campuses in search of a school where he could call home in a few years. First, I tried to remember the mother’s golden rule: stay quiet, let him get his bearings and don’t – under any circumstances – embarrass him! At one point, I asked him how I was doing and when I got the approval nod, I smiled. After that seemed to be going well I began to truly look around and what I saw were memories of my own college life. It brought me back to another time. And then the magic happened: I saw my son as I saw myself, and as he opened up to me and asked me questions about what I thought about the schools, what my impressions were, I realized in that moment, we were friends.
Sarah, I did look for beanies. I did look for college style. What I saw were students dressed in cool, comfortable and relaxed comfort and style – all wrapped in the greatest fashion accessory of all – a smile of happiness and contentment.
I’m off to college … not for me … for my son! I leave today to tour colleges with my 11th grader and I don’t mind telling you that I find the whole thing a little freaky! How is it possible, when I remember being in college as if it were yesterday? I guess time flies, though, because it really wasn’t yesterday, but actually, the late 70s/early 80s. Oh well …
My college friend Sarah tells me to be on the lookout for students – men and women – wearing beanies. According to Sarah it’s definitely a trend: a beanie, like the kind you can find at urban outfitters, is a slouchier version of the skullcap. I’m on the lookout …
Be back in a few days! Will miss you! Wish me luck!