Monday, September 22, 2014

The Next Chapter

This little one started looking at colleges this weekend. I’m having a hard time grasping that fact. I’m not usually one to lament, “Where did the time go?” Truthfully, if time didn’t pass, I’d be stuck in certain childhood phases that only by knowing it would pass, allowed me to survive it—terrible ones, twos and threes, first month of kindergarten, hormones, anyone? And I really like the stages we get to and I enjoy thinking about what comes next.

But college, that’s like an entirely new life. I have to say, it’s really exciting and scary and inspiring, all at the same time.

She started by checking out a couple of colleges who visited her high school during lunch. She even picked up a brochure from my husband’s and my alma mater (Washington University). Her biggest question with that school was if we really wanted her to go there to continue our family tradition. A) I didn’t know we had a family tradition. B) I strongly believe in each child’s independence, both their own, from each other and from us. C) She needs to find a school that’s right for her, not for me or my husband.

So she’s checking things out as she goes along and making her list of what she wants in a college. She’s only 15 though, so I’m not convinced her desires now won’t change in a year or two. Of course, if I even think about mentioning it, she rolls her eyes and tells me how much I don’t know. For now, I’m accepting that she wants to be a psychology major with a concentration in childhood studies, a minor in Hebrew and live and work in Israel. Who knows! I’m also not telling her that I wanted to be a marine biologist.

Yesterday, we went to a college fair at our local community college. The school had told us about it and I mentioned it to her. She said she wanted to go. When I realized how busy our weekend was, I suggested perhaps we skip it, since I wasn’t sure how many schools would be there that would be of interest to her. Turns out, there were 210 schools, 17 of which interested her. She assured me she really wanted to go and it would be fun. That should have been my clue right there.

Once we finally found the college fair—the signage was awful and there was no one to direct us—she turned to me and asked, “Why are we doing this when I’m only a sophomore?” When we ran into a friend of hers who is a junior and who asked why she was there, she responded, “I have no idea, my mom made me come.”


But after a few schools, she rallied. I kept myself calm and in the background, only speaking when spoken to and carrying all the literature she collected (basically, acting like a well-mannered servant). She’s reaching the goal I set for her, which was to just start compiling a list of schools she thinks she likes, so that next year, we’re not starting from scratch. She narrowed the 17 down to about 10 so far.

And I’m staring a the sweet little girl in the picture and shaking my head.

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