Tag Archives: college

It’s Been a Minute

Standard

It’s been a minute & I officially now have two high school students. In less than three months, The Girl will graduate high school. Soon after that, The Boy will finish his freshman year.

A few years ago I ruminated on The Girl ending her middle school career (To My Daughter as She Finishes Middle School).

Middle school was very different for The Boy. Other than one “spawn of Satan” as The Boy refers to him (I’m looking at you Jack Toohey), my kids had very different middle school experiences. The Girl struggled through it while The Boy seemed to sail – other than his math grades. Case in point: Their texts from their 8th grade class trip to Washington, DC…

The Girl’s: “Can you come get me?”

The Boy’s: “This place is pretty cool. And some girl broke her knee on the Potomac River cruise so we’re all waiting for the ambulance.”

My cocky, sassy, full of spunk (I hate spunk) boy has turned into this amazing young man who is now cast as Narcissus in a new musical written by one of his music teachers. He’s learned to play drums & piano & has a group of friends who are straight up amazing kids. They all congregate at the library for old school Dungeons & Dragons. And when they have to be at their own homes, they’re usually on line together playing TF2 or Fortnite (or as I unfortunately called it, “Frontline.” I may be turning into my mother).

And they’re TEENAGERS. With a capital TEENAGERS. They have opinions & they’re finding their own voice.

And it’s the best.

A coworker is struggling with her two year old… or twouchebag as I recently heard it referred to. And I remember those days. This particular coworker has one just like The Boy who pushed buttons that I didn’t know existed. I just keep nodding & telling her that it gets better. But much like when the doctors used to get annoyed with me worrying about potty training (“No kid has ever gone to college in diapers!” Bitch, please…. I’m trying to get through preschool!) I’m sure she can’t even see that place right now.

But I can.

And my first born is almost grown & flown.

The Girl isn’t sure what she wants to do when she graduates. Maybe biology. Maybe marine biology. Maybe forensics. Maybe chemistry.

So she’s charted a course for community college to help her figure it out. In my panic, I watched other parents post on Facebook about their kids’ college applications. I made her apply in November only to receive a post card in the mail from the local community college that may as well have said, “Slow your roll. We’re working on the January term. We’ll get back to you about next fall.” And here I was all prepared with my FAFSA.

It’s not the road I thought she would choose. Her focus at the technical high school was graphics. But according to her, she loves art & doesn’t want to do it for a living or she would hate it (sort of how I felt about working at Target). That’s pretty mature. I also expected her to choose a small, private, four year college. We toured a couple… okay, one… and I thought it would be a good fit for her. But she is my level-headed one. She knows enough to know that she doesn’t really know what she wants. You know?

I guess my point is that every kid finds their way eventually. I watch my friends post about their kids’ college acceptance letters & cheer them on. And I know that they’re cheering on The Girl as she embarks on her path to figure out what she wants.

The Boy recently had to choose his shop at the same tech high school that The Girl is graduating from. He chose Medical Assisting. And much like his sister, it’s not the road I thought he would choose. But he’s got three more years to figure it out before graduation.

And at the risk of sounding cliche’, it’s not the destination. It’s the journey.

And this is a great journey.

Stay tuned. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

 

Advertisements

MomDay Monday – Tap Dancing, Alligators & Mary Tyler Moore

Standard

“But they say that 7th grade is the most important year – it’s the year that all the high schools will look at to decide if they want to let you in,” lamented The Girl after struggling with a math problem.

Really? It’s high school. I know we have a few programs here in our neck of the woods that you have to apply to or test into, but I think it’s safe to say that high school is a sure thing.

“I’m worried about my future,” she went on.

She is 12 years old. 12. Not even a teenager. When I was 12, you know what I wanted to be?

Mary Tyler Moore.

She was single, a TV producer, had her own apartment & had that large “M” on the wall. I considered putting a large “L” on my wall but then Laverne & Shirley came along & I hated those giant “L”s that Laverne wore on everything. So scrap that. Although I did spend the first part of my career as a film producer so at least I accomplished that part.

When I was 12, you know what I worried about? Whether or not Brad Bowman liked me (I still don’t know). And whether or not Peter Hill would go to the dance with me (he wouldn’t).

The Girl apparently has to worry about getting into high school. She has to worry about the kids in her group who act up & get them all punished. She has to worry about LJ asking her to be Locker Buddies & if she goes to the dance with Corey, will Stephen be mad & she has to walk home with her annoying little brother & let themselves in the house & text mom that they’re home & empty the dishwasher or mom won’t make dinner & why is the cat always under her bed?

There’s a lot going on in that head of hers.

So here’s an open letter to my Girl that will hopefully help her relax a bit about her future endeavors:

Dear Lu (It’s a long story but she answers to it & that’s all that counts) –

You don’t have to be the President or cure cancer. You don’t have to become a rocket scientist or a doctor or a lawyer or even a veterinarian – although I think you’d be great at that because you love animals. I remember when you rescued that bee & brought him home. I didn’t have the heart to tell you that you probably took him far, far away from his hive.

What you do have to do is be happy.

And if you can pay the bills doing what makes you happy, then you win.

If tap dancing in the streets makes you happy & pays the bills, then dance away. If wrangling alligators in the Everglades makes you happy & pays the bills, wrangle away.

I promise you, you will go to high school. After that… well, it’s kind of up to you.

If you want to go to college, go for it. Just make sure you have an idea of what you want to study & what you’re planning on getting out of it. Because if you leave four years of college & still don’t know what you want or what makes you happy…. well, good luck paying off those student loans. Because there will be student loans.

If you want to go learn how to tap dance, or wrestle alligators or cut hair or tame lions – go do that.

And maybe you’ll end up doing all of those things. Because believe me, life can take you in funny directions.¬†If you had told me back when I was producing that I would one day be managing a slew of departments at a major retailer, I would have laughed at you. Or hit you. I was very volatile back then.

I have been a producer, I have been a PR flak shilling news out to any reporter who would listen to what my clients had to say. I have been a full-time mom & homemaker (what DO you do all day?) & now I’m in retail.

What I’m trying to say is, relax. Your future will unfold exactly how it’s supposed to. It will be maddeningly slow at times & at others it will speed along dizzily.

Go with it.

You can plan all you want. And let’s face it, if you’re anything like your dad, Plan B doesn’t go far enough… you’ll have a Plan H. But in the end, just know that you are always exactly where you’re supposed to be. And know too that sometimes where you are will suck. But getting¬†through the sucky parts makes the good parts that much better.

I love you forever & ever.

Mom

PS – Here’s one of your favorite songs. And no, I don’t think your former Catholic school would have let you sing this in the talent show. But I love that you wanted to. It’s part of what makes you extraordinary.

And while we’re at it… I know you hate this picture of yourself, but what I see here is an extraordinary young woman who I am very proud of.

Lulu