Mother’s Day is May 14, Father’s Day is June 18 and Canada Day is July 1. Write down these or any other dates your parents find important.
As random as that might sound, I have learned a gravely important lesson during my three years in college.
No matter how many times I make the Dean’s list, or the number of Sundays I spend cleaning the freeway with my fraternity brothers, if I forget to call or write home on certain holidays, I become the redheaded stepchild for at least a week in the eyes of my parents (maybe two, depending on how long it takes me to get to the belated card section of Hallmark).
I can recall the countless times while living at the University of La Verne that I have found myself in the doghouse after a sobering message from my parents starting with, “Are you still alive?”
I realize I am a 21-year-old college student now, and asking me to remember a few pertinent dates should not be out of the realm of possibility. Yet, time and time again, I receive that call the day after I was too busy being the prodigal son and forgot to call.
Even if you remember the holidays, there is always the possibility of forgetting to make the once-a-week phone call. That mistake can really get you in trouble.
Parents seem to take it very personally when you forget to call and say, “Yes, I’m still in school. No, I’m not getting married and I’m not cold or hungry.”
After growing up and opening my eyes, it seems to make a little more sense now.
Our parents realize that we are growing up and that the days they were teaching us to ride a bike have long since passed, but that is not to say that the need for them to be involved in our lives has not.
During my freshman year in college when it was time to call home on Sunday nights, I remember thinking that whatever my life was consumed with, my parents could not possibly ever relate.
The fact of the matter is that whether or not your parents relate is irrelevant. Those brief moments, whether on Sunday night or Groundhog’s Day, are the times that our parents get to feel connected to you.
With spring break beginning today, I know that I am one of many ULV students who will be traveling down to Rosarito, Mexico, with friends to celebrate a near end to the school year. It was an interesting scenario telling my parents my plans when I think their intention was for me to come home for Easter.
The result was not a trip to the doghouse but a realization that we are in fact getting older as the years pass in college, and our parents seem to notice.
At times the check-ins seem irksome, but then again, so is the realization that home will soon be a place you visit rather than a place you check-in.
I think it takes a little getting used to, but those phone calls begin to serve a real purpose for both parties.
That is not to say that I have become the king of correspondence since my freshman year. If you quiz me on family birthdays, I can tell you most of the seasons they fall in. I still forget dates and receive “anonymous” phone calls from my sister saying, “You’d better call, it’s their anniversary tomorrow.”
However, I think I see why those phone calls mean so much to parents. It is not so you can pay homage to Mother’s or Father’s Day, or to wish Merry Canada Day. It is to celebrate the fact that regardless of your age, you still care enough to call.
Danny Craig, a sophomore journalism major, is features editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.