I am eighteen years old, and I believe in holding my mom’s hand while crossing the street. The urge was there to tell you that I still believe in holding my mom’s hand while crossing the street, that it was a habit I never grew out of, but that isn’t true. There was definitely a period in my life when I didn’t believe in holding my mom’s hand while crossing the street. In fact, the majority of my formative years were spent living contrary to this. In those years what I wanted was my freedom, and I wanted as much as my parents would give. They were usually not willing to give very much, so I was often reduced to making random grabs for it. At some point my younger self decided that the most eloquent way to make a stand for independece was through the endangerment of my own life. It must have been in this way that the habit of folding my arms across my body and jogging ahead of my mom into traffic developed. As she reached to pull me back, my steps would quicken. One day, that reach didn’t come. At first, I was elated – my strategy had yielded some very tangible results of the exact type I had wanted, but I was also bewildered – did this mean a complete change of policy in all aspects of life? No it didn’t; all other boundaries were still in place, just not that one. I attributed her change of heart to our religous use of the crosswalk, which made the victory a little less swett, and returned my attention to finding new ways to secure my independence.
And, I did manage to win a few more of these battles over the years, but as the prospect of college grew near I found myself voluntarily giving back some of the ground I had won, and reaching out for my mother’s hand. Any university student can attest to the fact that college changes you in many ways, but so does that summer before you leave for college for the first time. That period is filled with uncertainty. You’re going off to a place you don’t know, and the fear starts creeping in that when you return home it will also have become a place you don’t know. Then you’d be left with nothing, just two temporary homes. So, you start reaching out to preserve the permanency of any little thing you can.
My mom and I held hands all summer to assure ourselves that no matter what changes college would bring, the bond between us would withstand any of them. I have ridden the waves of change this first quarter of college, and am returning home for the first time in two months on Friday, and I know that during my walk to the car through the airport parking garage I will be next to my mom, holding her hand.
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