grow up the meadow’s pride

I gave my children a portion of Thoreau’s poem Friendship for Christmas, 2014. I printed it for them. Here’s a line…..

Grow up the meadow’s pride

My daughter had two interviews today. College interviews with alumni from two schools. Brown. And Yale. Yes, Ivy League.

I don’t verbalize it enough, but I am immensely proud of her.

While we don’t know if her interviews, which both went seemingly well, will have an influence on the admissions processes, we realize it cannot hurt. And sure, just getting accepted doesn’t mean the necessary financial aid, correct fit, etc. But let’s just pause a moment and relish in the fact that Brown and Yale didn’t give her the red “NO” stamp from the get-go. Her application made it this far, and that’s worth a celebration, in my opinion.

So forgive me if you feel bragging is coarse.

Oh, she was deferred at Columbia. Again, not a “NO”. A wait and see. She’s applied to other schools as well. The University of Chicago, American University, Washington University in St. Louis, Rhodes College. She has been accepted to the University of Louisville. Into the Honors Program. Although she’s not so keen on staying in Kentucky. I’d be happy for her to attend Transylvania University. It’s 1.5 miles from our home (meaning I could walk over and visit). Plus some pretty famous/successful people have attended there. And it’s the oldest college west of the Alleghenies. But alas, it’s not for her……

She’s going to Frankfort this week. Our state capital. Taking a day off of school to join other members of the Student Voice Team. The students are concerned about a bill regarding education, being discussed in the House. Upon returning to Lexington, she’ll rush back to her high school to attend the Black Lives Matter meeting, in which she’s a founding organizer/member.

A week or so ago, she attended a meeting. A room full of teachers, a smattering of high school students, two microphones, and a table up front seated with Kentucky legislators. The purpose was to voice opinions on a particular bill. Allie made her way to the microphone, and clearly articulated a question about Turnaround Programs and test scores. The moderator complimented her for her well thought out inquiry. I was fortunate to be there, and relished the moment, as she is obviously passionate about issues and concepts which matter.


I have found it’s not always easy to parent an intelligent girl. Plus a girl who has strong opinions and thinks a lot. Yes, I realize that sounds trite. A bit of a cop out as compared to all the issues different parents face when raising children. But it’s true. It’s a challenge.

We discuss gentrification. Pertaining to our neighborhood. Cultural appropriation. We talk about The Case for Reparations by Coates and watch movies like The End of the Tour and Kill Your Darlings and Dear White People. But we also watch Downton Abbey and she subscribes to Vogue. She adores Matty Healy [I do not but I am old]. And one of her favorite songs is Somebody to Love, which is Queen in case you didn’t know. This is apparently a song Jordan Smith [who is a Kentucky native] from The Voice recorded but neither of us can bring ourselves to listen because, well, Allie feels you just don’t redo Freddie Mercury and I think, “oh my gosh my daughter is the greatest. Ever. Except for my son who is also the greatest.”

So I am proud of her. And I suppose it doesn’t hurt to brag about her. In a world where everyone’s so critical. Why not be encouraging?

Two sturdy oaks I mean, which side by side,
Withstand the winter’s storm,
And spite of wind and tide,
Grow up the meadow’s pride,
For both are strong

Above they barely touch, but undermined
Down to their deepest source,
Admiring you shall find
Their roots are intertwined

Henry David Thoreau

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