Molly turns 21 today. Our first grandchild, who has skipped to adulthood in a most exuberant, yet easy, laid back way.
Bill and I looked forward to her arrival, not knowing whether she would be a he – and of course, like grandparents everywhere, it was love at first sight.
She will graduate from college next year to become an elementary school teacher, carrying on what has become the family profession for three generations, including me and her mom and dad. I have no doubt that she will be a fine one – fun but firm, caring and compassionate, all laced with a healthy dose of common sense. All attributes she’s had to have as an RA in university dorms for three years, which prompts me to reveal a couple of things and a letter I’ve never shown her:
March 1, 1956
“Dear Miss Huddleston,
We appreciate your explanation. However, after checking with the head resident again, she pointed out that it was not one incident but rather the general behavior of all of you that prompted their reporting you to this office….I would hope though, if you are admitted to one of the halls next fall, that you will be one of our exemplary students. You will have then a better appreciation for the need for quiet hour schedules when you are trying to get your studies done.
Assistant Dean of Women
How times have changed in liberal Madison,Wisconsin and for that matter, schools everywhere: In the ’50s, the doors of Elizabether Waters locked at 12:30; failure to be in by then resulted in being ‘campused ‘or not allowed out, on a subsequent weekend . Certainly, no men allowed. Ever. On another occasion, I got a fine for smoking on campus and finally, the one thing that required me to shape up and become an exemplary student – a letter announcing to my parents that my grades placed me on probation.
I’m so proud of Molly for being far more sensible and appreciative of her opportunities than I was at her age, and I credit her mom and dad as well, for stressing the importance of being responsible and accountable. I can say without bias (well, maybe some) Molly is quite simply a delightful young woman – I know she will be an excellent teacher!