Will the real adult please stand up?


I just got home from Parent & Family Weekend at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Now that my post-visit blues have (mostly) faded, the experience has settled into something richer than just a fun visit with my daughter, Mirabai.

Perhaps it’s because I almost didn’t go. My psychological plate is full helping my Mom move from her Northern California home of 50+ years (the house I grew up in) to a retirement community near me in Portland. Parent & Family Weekend bumped up against Mom’s move date, so it seemed nuts to squeeze in a trip to the Midwest.

But my gut kept nudging. I felt tantrum-y about the prospect of missing the event. There are so few opportunities to share my kids’ college lives. And I still haven’t gotten over the COVID obliteration of Mirabai’s high school junior- and senior years and the loss of parental experiences I felt I was owed by the universe. I wanted to grab this joy, even if it meant sitting through “What’s In a Major?” panels and eating mediocre appetizers with a hundred other families. I wanted to celebrate my daughter’s resilience. Witness her becoming.

Could my Mom delay her move by a week so I could go? Yes. Could I handle the emotional whiplash of a visit with my much-missed daughter immediately followed by ten days in California managing Mom’s move and saying goodbye to my childhood home? Unclear.

Read the rest at ashadornfest.substack.com.