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Normally this blog has a recipe for food. Today, it’s about a recipe for life. Particularly if you have children or grandchildren.

Suzen and I have two grandchildren, twin boys, who just finished the 6th grade. They live in a suburb of Austin with an intense school district. How intense? Well, I’ve mentioned that if you show up for kindergarten and don’t know your ABCs or how to count to 20, you are sent home for year.

It turns out that in the 6th grade, my grandsons were reviewed for their study habits and college potential. The school they attend [90% white, 9% Asian, 1% rest of the world] has a record of very high college attendance. The school and the community are proud of that. The parents of the kids in the school expect that. So, evaluation and consultation begins early.

When I was in the 6th grade, I was pretty interested in this girl named Sandi, great smile and an evolving body. I didn’t know what the body stuff meant, but there certainly was this mysterious attraction. Kind of like a new type of gravity. For my part, I read math and science books but college was almost half a lifetime away.

My grandson Reid wants to be an architect. He’s already done a school project on the school of his choice, Yale. He told us, for example, that 95% of Yale architecture students have a full time job within 4 months of graduating.

I’m comparing what he is thinking about versus what I was thinking about at the same age. I am impressed with his facts, and I am relieved that he is planning his life. Yet, I have this feeling that something now is so different it has to be, if not wrong, at least not quite right.

People talk about a loss of innocence. A rush to adulthood, often painted with a coarse coat of crassness.

As grandparents, what choices do Suzen and I have? When Reid came to visit us, the best we could do is surprise him. We told him we were on a surprise journey for pizza. We did not say we were going to New Haven. When we arrived, we took Reid on a tour of the Yale School of Architecture and then the Yale campus. And we did have Pepe’s pizza. He enjoyed it all.

The true purpose of the visit to Yale? Give the boy an edge to getting into Yale. Feed the hope. Inspire. Make the dream a real vision.

Reid won’t be attending Yale for six more years. I am, as a proud grandfather, assuming he’ll get it. Given my math skills, I have offered to take the SATs for him, although that might be problematical. We don’t look alike. Kid has the hair I used to.

My fervent hope is that somewhere in his freshman class is a girl named Sandi. Cute nose. Blue eyes. Short blond hair. And curves that appeal to an architect.