California Boy, Come Home – Dr. Plastic Picker

California Boy, Come Home

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Years ago on our first trip to Yosemite.

April 16, 2023

by Dr. Plastic Picker

The boys are coming home today. They got onto an earlier flight home from New York than planned. Our son went to see NYU during their admit weekend. We are so grateful , incredibly grateful and realize how fortunate we are, that he had a choice. It was a brutal admission season for many students, and somehow our very normal and very joyous son emerged okay. NYU’s admit rate this year was 8% but he was admitted. He flew with his father, and they did the admit day and at the same time he saw his aunts for the first time since the pandemic as his paternal side is all based in New York.

Our son had fun. They had a DJ, cotton candy machine and white wine for Mr. Plastic Picker to drink in a room that overlooked NYC. The view was incredible. But I talked to my son and he said honestly that it was all a bit too much. There was a little bit too much litter for his liking, and he’d rather be in California for school and catch a flight home earlier to spend the rest of the weekend with his friends and family.

And with that, my mommy heart was so relieved. His younger sister and I were in the car, living our lives here is our hometown of San Diego. We drove to the San Diego Central Library in downtown, and visited the art displays and dreamed of Gold Awards and artistic projects that she is pursuing. We picked up girlfriends and dropped them off, and she sat in the back with her friends and they talked about books and boys and boys in books, but definitely more about books in general than boys. We walked in nice Liberty Station where she felt safe in her jeans and cute top. We walked in East Village, where she got creepy looks and comments from strange men while she was wearing modest shorts and a sweatshirt. I clutched her tight and felt fearful that it was just me, and where was her tall brother and where was her father? Did they know? Did they know from across the country that I was scared without them in the state?

It’s hard to know why certain things happen. It’s hard to know why some children want to go away and some children want to stay. I realize that it’s their lives, and I absolutely gave him space to decide. But that the boys decided to come home earlier, and our son decided that he’d stay in California for college – made me so happy. The girls were home in San Diego and every 30 minutes or so, either I or his sister would exclaim – we are so glad. We are so glad he decided that home was better than away.

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