We spent family weekend at The Ohio State University with Johannah. She's taller, you know? Talkative, quippy. It's like we all forgot. She'd speak and we'd all punch each other in the arm, "Isn't she something?" When Jon and I trailed behind Johannah and Liam marching through a dark football stadium in search of Jacob, she commented, "They are the slowest of pokes." Liam gleefully called us pokes in her honor for over 48 hours.
Johannah had just worked at the Obama rally as a cheerleader the day before. She got to hold up a big sign that said, "Barak your socks off!" She shook Obama's hand! All that stuff you're supposed to do in college.
We asked what she thought of Barak. Disappointed and inspired. Disappointed: Obama is a politician which means he says stuff that feels like it's designed to win votes rather than save the world. Johannah wants to be a world saver.
He made a grammatical gaffe which prompted her to reflect: "He was just like George Bush only no one has made a calendar of his mistakes. I'll bet everyone gets nervous and misspeaks in public." She was inspired by the vision Obama cast but said, "I can't remember all that he said because it's like listening to a foreign language. I don't know the vocabulary yet. But he was great!" Unfortunately her dorm mates know more about Stephen Colbert.
First excursion of the weekend: We hopped in the car, credit cards in hand, and headed to an American Eagle. More mothers and college kids crowded the dressing rooms too. Made me laugh. Forget the tour of the famous Horseshoe Buckeye Stadium where Woody Hayes once walked. Hoodies and Ugh boots! Jeans and sweaters! Boo-ya! We all followed our kids around and bought them comfort clothes. Even bought Johannah red knit slippers because it made me happy to think she'd have warm toes in the cold concrete dorms. That's what mothers worry about - their college kids' toes.
I kept thinking about this life she's living: straight A's, loads of friends, outings all over the city on the bus, political rallies, keeping it together even with parties all around her. She makes it look so easy. Hyper responsible yet still well liked.
She told us that everyone calls her the mother of the dorms. Jon asked her if that's because she tells everyone not to drink.
"I don't care if they drink," she said, "I tell them not to eat white bread."