Today, Edgar and I visited my alma mater, the University of Houston. Well actually the three of us made a visit to the campus, as we had been doing for the last several months, only as usual, Anjelica had a purpose for being there, while me and Edgar were there to accompany her and wait in the parking lot for her to come out.
Normally we would have taken off to the store as soon as she went inside to buy some junk food for the wait – he likes chips, I prefer sodas and sandwiches. Or we would have finished up his homework together before retiring to our individual pastimes. Edgar is an only child and has become quite the pro at entertaining himself, usually playing with sticks, chasing squirrels around any open spaces, or just sitting out in the open playing with his toys. I swear the squirrels enjoy it as much as he does because everywhere we go there always seems to be one there, taunting him to chase it around. Meanwhile, I usually sit in the car catching up on whatever projects I’m currently working on as best I can using only my phone. ¡Esta bien! So a lot of times I’m just tweeting or playing around on other social media sites.
Today though, aunque no lo crean, I actually put my phone down, well in my pocket anyway, and invited Edgar to take a walk with me. We crossed a few streets and then started making our way towards the university center where, of course, they sell all kinds of snacks and lots of junk food. By this time we were in deep conversation passing through the student dorms and Edgar was asking me tons of questions. He couldn’t believe all of these young people lived in those buildings and was especially curious about why I hadn’t lived there myself. This was my university after all right?
I explained to him how I had to work to put myself through college and couldn’t afford to live in a dorm. Hell, I barely made enough money to pay for my tuition and books.
It wasn’t until after we turned around, with cokes and trail mix in hand, and we walked past a pair of young girls who were carrying out their laundry that he actually believed what I had been telling him. “Wow, I guess they really do live here!”
I decided he needed more time to take it all in so we sat down for a few minutes to continue the conversation and to watch all of the college kids walk by with their earphones on and their backpacks hanging over one shoulder. I guess some things just never change. Then I started thinking. I wondered what it would have been like to have been exposed to this environment at such a young age. Edgar is nine going on ten in a few weeks. Would it have really made an impact on my life? I do remember visiting a college campus at some point during my grade school years, but by that time I was already a teenager and had my own ideas about the world. The whole experience is really just a blur now and sometimes I even wonder if it actually did take place. What would it have been like to be told from the age of nine that college was the next step after graduation, no ifs, ands, or buts about it?
Then, just when I was letting my compulsive obsessiveness with over-analyzing everything take over, Edgar interrupted me.
“You know what I want to be when I grow up? I want to be the president. If I can’t do that, might as well join the police force. Whatever I do I’m going to work real hard at it.”
I smiled and nodded. If nothing else, at least I know he appreciated the experience.