So, I guess you noticed that I’d been ignoring your suggestions that I come back to college.
I wasn’t really ignoring them. I was just pretending to ignore them.
Truth is, every time I got one of your letters, I had to stuff all my wishes to return to the university for a second degree. I mean, it just felt selfish to me. I wanted to go so badly, but I’ve already been, and Riley hasn’t. If anything, I felt, she should go.
And I’ll go again when Bo and Patches go.
But that might be too late for us, mightn’t it?
So, I decided to try the aptitude test again. Just to see what my options were. I mean, I wouldn’t have to go, but it might be neat if I could.
The test was a piece of cake! I qualified for full scholarship and advanced placement in technology and phys ed. Plus I earned a few carry-over credits in communications, too.
I put on my graduation gown, just to remember how great it felt.
Man, I really want to return to college. I want that second degree!
Bo and I talked about it while we worked together in the kitchen.
“I don’t see why not to go,” Bo said. “It’s not like I don’t know how to take care of myself. Plus, Riley’s like an aunt to me and Patches.”
He said I should go now and go with him and Patches. “You know you’ll want another degree as soon as you earn this one,” he said.
I wasn’t sure how Patches would feel.
“Doesn’t matter,” she said. “If you want to go, go. If you want to stay, stay. Same difference, far as I’m concerned.”
Once the kids went to school, I really felt my mom’s presence so strongly.
Did I ever tell you that I write to her sometimes? It really helps me clear my thoughts.
So I decided I’d talk with her, see what she suggested.
“I want to go back to college, Mom,” I said. “But I also want to do what I need to here, you know, to take care of everything.”
It’s also important for you to take care of yourself.
“I love having my fine arts degree,” I continued, “but I want to be well-rounded. You know I love working out and being fit. I want to learn more about physiology.”
You should learn everything you want. It’s your life. Live it in a way that brings out your best.
“But I hate leaving Bo and Patches. And I hate asking Riley to take care of everything while I’m gone for two terms again.”
I’ll be here, too. Just because I’ve passed, doesn’t mean I don’t remain here to look after the family.
Riley walked in then.
“What’s this you’re saying?” she asked.
Oh, Shannon. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was thinking of leaving again already, so soon after getting my first degree.
I will talk to her, I promise you. We’ll have a long talk, but not yet. I need a little more time to get clear with my own desires, to figure out why I want this. Do I want it? Do I just want a way to spend more time with you? If so, that’s fine, too. But I need to be clear so that when I talk to Riley, I can tell her why I want this, why it’s so important to me.
And does it matter to you? Do you want me there, or were you just making casual suggestions like it might be an idea to consider, like trying applesauce for breakfast?
Let me know if you want me to come. I’ll think more and let you know what I decide.
It would be amazing to see you again.