College tour offers glimpse of the future

By Danielle Scroggins | Published Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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It feels like a very short time ago that my oldest child padded into my room at 6 in the morning dressed for her first day of kindergarten.

We lived in Keller at the time, and she was enrolled in the afternoon half-day program. With an eager face, brushed teeth and shoes on the wrong feet (that was an ongoing lesson), she asked, “Is it afternoon yet?”

Cut to this year and suddenly I’m driving to Texas A&M University to tour dorms, advising offices and student programs. Don’t get me wrong, I was pumped, but wary. This was the place I found my path, my voice and my husband.

I loved every minute at Texas A&M, but it was going to be tough to brainwash my oldest hoodlum. Luckily, the stars shined down on me that day.

Currently, my oldest wants to become a park ranger, so we met with the Parks and Recreation Department and with an adviser that could not have been more perfect. She was young, hip and had purple streaks in her hair – just what my theater kid needed to see at what she views as an ultra-conservative school.

This adviser-from-heaven explained that with more than 60,000 students and 800 student organizations at this international University, there was something for everyone. It was like she had a manual to ease all mom worries and future student woes. Prayers were answered on the spot.

From the advising office, we walked through seven different styles of dorms, and with each tour, I watched my baby see her independence blossom. I watched her making plans. I watched her brain churn over the possibilities in her future, and I was inspired by her possibility.

We spent the rest of the day walking around campus as I told stories of classes, studying and making friends. She asked questions about my college experience and looked forward to sharing in those memories at the same school. We caught up with family for dinner and spent the next day tailgating on campus for the football game. We were fully immersed in Aggie culture for three days, and honestly, she was ready to move in as the weekend ended.

We packed up Sunday tired, a little sore and full of intention to see the rest of high school through. I know my girl, and she needed to see what was out there. She needed this carrot.

When they say it goes fast, “they” certainly know their stuff.

As a junior, my oldest hoodlum still has time at home, but I feel myself clutching that time with everything I have. I see her maturing at an exponential rate. She takes care of the business of her student life, her theater life, and now, her driving life. She sees the future of independence, and I see that same eager face asking “Is it time to leave yet?” It’s a confusing set of emotions, pride and nostalgia, hope and pain. But in those confusing emotions I’m also eager to watch her take those first steps of independence – to find her place and to live her amazing life. Hopefully, she chooses Texas A&M, but it’s her choice to make (sorta).

So long as she comes home and visits all the time. And texts. And FaceTimes at least once a day.

I’m the momma, and a part of me will never be whole again with her gone.

Danielle Scroggins is a Decatur resident, Decatur High school graduate, teacher and mother of three. She writes a monthly column, Life is Kid Stuff, for the Messenger.

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