Many people come to college because they are ready for a change of pace. They’ve lived with the same people, sometimes in the same town, for their entire life, and are looking forward to breaking free and gaining all the freedoms college so graciously provides.
If your family is anything like mine (a hot mess where screaming is the new inside voice), it may be nice to get a little break every once in a while and do your own thing. But, then again, if your family is anything like mine, you miss them a hell of a lot for their constant support system and (most importantly for this particular story) love-you-no-matter-what attitude.
It all started on a beautiful summer day in my home state of North Carolina. I was about 11 years old at the time, and my family had just decided we needed some “quality family bonding and outdoor time.” My grandparents were staying at our house for a visit, and my dad suggested that we play a little game of baseball with the new set of baseball equipment he had just bought for me and my sister.
Let me explain: I am not a “land-sport” kind of gal. I know, that sounds totally weird, but all of my life I’ve been a competitive swimmer and a water polo player. I remember my parents tried signing me up for soccer, and I ended up scoring in the wrong goal. Multiple times. So if my father had not been trying to “expand my horizons” by buying us baseball stuff, the following incident may have been avoided altogether.
I was at the plate, practicing yet another swing with the bat while my grandpa stood right behind me, waiting to catch the ball I was more than likely going to miss. I already had two strikes, and I wasn’t aiming to accumulate another. My dad pitched me the ball, and I swung as hard as my puny little arms could muster.
The bat connected with the ball, and sent it soaring well past second base. I was so overjoyed by having finally hit the ball that I flung the bat behind me and started running to claim my home run.
As I was running towards first, I heard a groan behind me, and peered back. My poor grandpa was holding his hand to his mouth, blood gushing between his fingers.
Oh God, what had I done?!
At that point, I immediately started sobbing and I ran back to my grandpa.
“Grandpa, grandpa! I am soooooo sorry!” I said, offering my grandpa a towel, still crying.
“Oh no, it’s fine, Taylor! It’s not even a big deal! Are you okay?” he asked, blood still pouring out of his mouth as he mustered a slightly disturbing smile.
I later found out that I had knocked out all of my grandfather’s front teeth and he had to be rushed to the dentist to have fake teeth put in.
Granddaughter of the year, right here.
The worst thing of all? My family kept the bat. The wooden bat which still, to this day, has perfect imprints of my grandpa’s teeth. All of them, including my grandpa, thought it was hilarious, and they even ended up taking pictures of him pre-fake teeth just so they could reminisce later (which, by the way, they totally do).
I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better family. A family who accepts me for the awkward, klutzy girl I am and who taught me to laugh at myself. I know that you can get really busy and caught up in the whole college thing, but never forget where you come from. Take time at least once a week (or for me, several times a day) to give your family a call and catch up. I know from personal experience that they most likely miss you a lot and love hearing from you.
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