Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

She’s already so much more than I’ll ever be

DebraDeAngeloW

By
May 27, 2011 |

It feels like your heart will just swell right up and burst, and no, it’s not a cardiac arrest. It’s pride — surging, bubbly, sparkling pride that feels like you’ll just explode into a glittering shower of wowie!

It’s amazement!

It’s awe!

It’s joy!

Of the three, “joy” comes closest. But it’s not an exact hit either. Joy is a bit too giddy. No, the emotion welling up in me as I waited in a sea of people at Cox Stadium at San Francisco State to see my daughter graduate last weekend was brand new to me, like discovering a hidden room in my own house that I never knew was there.

Sure, I’ve been proud of my children for all sorts of reasons and accomplishments over the years, but nothing was like seeing my daughter graduate with not one major, but two – a BA in Fine Arts and a BS in Visual Communication Design.

“Oh — art,” some of you are scoffing. But here’s the deal: She followed her heart. She stayed true to herself. She took her inborn talent and amplified it. She made a decision not to trade affluence for personal integrity. She didn’t sell out.

Others of you are scoffing, “San Francisco State.” It’s not one of those “impressive” schools. But here’s what is impressive: Aside from a humble little savings account her dad started for her as a baby, she earned almost all the rest, including her rent. In San Francisco. Ever notice what rents are there? Check it out and choke. But she managed to pay for it by working two jobs, all while carrying a full load at school. When she graduated, she’d racked up about $5,000 in student loans. Most students, unless they’re from privileged families, end up with another zero on that figure after college.

Actually, she would have graduated without any debt at all, but budget cuts at SFSU triggered widespread class cancellations and waiting lists, and she couldn’t get into her required classes several times. It took summer school sessions and an extra year to finish. (And, of course, you still have to pay full tuition even if you can’t get your classes. In some circles, that’s called extortion. But that was another column.)

And what about those unfortunate semesters when she couldn’t get her classes. Did she just piss them away? No. She used them to pick up that second degree. There’s one for the “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” file.

My daughter got some invaluable life lessons at SFSU. She learned to triage her problems and find positive solutions, and when faced with a financial obstacle course, she didn’t give up. She conquered it. She learned how to buckle down even when she didn’t feel like it or when things seemed impossible, and just do it. She learned the value of a dollar by discovering how hard it is to make one.

It wasn’t easy, mind you. She was a total stress monkey the last few years. But maybe it’s a trade-off. She’ll have less stress in the years ahead because she knows how to take care of herself. Now, if she can just learn to do so happily, as The Chant of Metta says, she’ll have a doctorate in living successfully. I was 40 years old before I figured these things out, and she’s only 23.

I guess that’s what impresses me most: At less than half my age, my daughter has already accomplished more than I have. She’s infinitely braver than me. She flew across the country alone at 18. I didn’t pluck up that much courage (if you can call it that, given the amount of Xanax and weeping it took) until I was 46.

She navigates the buses and BART in San Francisco with ease. I’ve yet to even attempt them. My urban navigational skills consist of yelling “Taxi!” She walks around San Francisco alone at night, and in some really thready areas (I won’t even walk through the Tenderloin in the daytime), and tromps down the sidewalk with a fierce “Look sideways at me and I will stab you in the eye” glare.

That’s quite a metamorphosis for a little girl who grew up in a town with only one stoplight. She didn’t get that from me. If someone said “Boo!” to me while I was alone at a bus stop in The Haight at night. I’d wet myself. Hell, I’d probably wet myself just being alone at a bus stop in The Haight at night.

So, how did a scaredy-cat Mom raise such a tigress? No, seriously — how did I do it? Because I don’t have a clue.

It’d be presumptive of me, if not egomaniacally delusional, to take any credit for it. I hate to burst any bubbles here, but I’ll never win the June Cleaver Mother of the Year Award. True, I did the best I could with the skills I had (which is the only thing that gives me solace when I’m indulging in self-flagellation over all the things I “could” have done for my kids), but I’m a B+ mom at best, and that’s being generous. Clearly, my daughter’s success and mastery of life skills is by no means because of me. She’s not a chip off the old block. In fact, it is me who is the chip … looking up at the block in awe, and amazement, and joy.

In pride.

My daughter is 23 years old, and she’s already more than I will ever be. I can’t wait to see what she’ll become.

— Follow Debra DeAngelo on Twitter. Links are posted at http://www.edebra.com and http://www.wintersexpress.com. Find Debra’s columns online at http://www.wintersexpress.com, http://www.edebra.com and http://www.ipinion.us

Comments

comments

Debra DeAngelo

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    Words and Music Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    Family isn’t keen on relationship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

     
     
    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

     
    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

     
    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8