This morning my husband and I took our kids on a somewhat spontaneous trip down memory lane.
Crawling Driving up the 405 on our way home from a far-too-quick trip to Southern California, Big needed to stop (shocking, I know). It just so happened we were a couple exits away from Wilshire Blvd and we knew just where we’d go: UCLA. We drove through Westwood and walked around campus pointing out all kinds of places we loved back in our college days—places we drank ate, places we lived, places we became who we are today.
As I pointed out the houses we called home for years, I got teary. Some of those tears were purely nostalgic. How could they not be? I had flashbacks of late nights in the pit (our basement) laughing myself silly while learning about life from some of the smartest, most ambitious girls I’d ever met. I remembered late-night Charlie’s Angels poses on the dance floor with the girls, lazy afternoons watching football game after football game with the guys and so much more.
But what made the strongest impression on me wasn’t the past, it was the present. Because as we talked, we were able to tell the boys not only did we live in those houses, many of our closest friends—many of their closest friends’ parents—lived in those houses too.
I realized that UCLA is really where our family—who we are today—began. It’s where my sentimental husband not only swept me off my feet, but proposed (many, many years later). It’s where a Communications professor encouraged a friend and me to find our “voices” writing a his & hers column for the Daily Bruin. It’s where a couple older (and oh-so-much-cooler) sorority sisters took a chance on me for advertising internships, which led to a career and more life-long friends.
Sure, I love looking back and remembering the wonderful times I had while at UCLA. (As pictures will prove, I wore far fewer wrinkles and pounds—LA’s vain side causes the Freshman 15 to work in reverse—seriously). But I also love knowing that I got so much more than a diploma and some fun memories from my time there. I left with a fun-loving, supportive family—one that’s far bigger than the three boys living under my roof.