I know that I should be a good blogger and blog something food and not my daydreams and my family. But, that is what the words come for this week.
This is a tale of two of our girls. Rebecca–The middle child and the oldest girl of the “Little Kids” (aka my biological kids or “real kids” if you are one of those people who doesn’t understand they are all my real children.) Michelle-The Youngest of the “Big Kids” (aka Denise’s biological kids).
Michelle, in short form, didn’t have a smooth path through college. She is now 23. She started as dual enrolled in her junior year of high school with Santa Fe Community College. She graduated from there in 2009 with her AA Degree. Michelle then enrolled at University of Central Florida. (after a lot of college tours and so on and so forth) We had dreams of all sorts of fun places that WE loved. But children are children and choose their own path when you raise them to think for themselves.
Michelle worked her way through college. She had at least one and sometimes two or three jobs at a time while taking classes. Michelle changed majors and interests several times as she grew up in college. She also had Michelle issues and the regular issues common to that age. This made it a long slow process to finish college.
We were determined she wouldn’t stop and not go back. But, some days it seemed like this day would never happen. She posted on Facebook a few weeks ago she was done with college forever. She’d taken her last exam. I said I wanted proof. Last night she texted me a picture of her status change to graduate.
I was proud of her for sticking it out. I was happy for her. But it didn’t really hit me until I slept on it. I woke up this morning. I remembered all the people who held our hand and listened to me babble as we worried over her. I remember all the days Denise asked about her papers, all the papers we read over, and how as she got older we got less and less of those emails. Michelle grew up and grew more and more responsible for herself. I still worry. I still am one of her mommies. That will never change. She runs around with my heart. But right now, my heart is bursting with love for her sticking it out, for finishing, for working her way through SO MUCH–not just college.
Then there is Rebecca. She applied to a ton of colleges. But, more than any other, Oberlin called to her. Again, this wasn’t the one I loved the most. (That thinking for herself thing–why do we think it is such a good thing?) Rebecca is brilliant, a fantastic writer, (she’s won writing awards outside of school and also was a BlogHer Voices of the Year Honorable Mention when she was 14.) and just generally an interesting wonderful kid. Yes. I am bragging. She deserves it.
Oberlin isn’t as well known as a name outside of certain circles as other schools she could have and did apply to attend. It was the first college to grant bachelor degrees to women in a coeducational setting. It has some cool traditions. It is a highly selective liberal arts college. US News says #26 of Liberal Arts colleges. Forbes called it #75 of the top 650 schools in the country. It only accepts about 30% of applicants. It is a liberal school full of vegans and outside the box sorts–but they are all very driven.
Rebecca applied early decision which meant that being accepted meant she had to withdraw her applications to all other colleges. I wanted her to be accepted because she loved it so much, but on the other hand–scary! She was very worried about all sorts of colleges she applied to not accepting her. I wasn’t. Anytime a scheduled meeting for an interview morphs from the standard 15-30 min to several hours because the interviewer is so entranced–you know that is a good thing.
So, there you go. Two of my girls make me a little teary this week related to college. I want to gather them close. I want the world for them. I want them to know that even though they move to the next phase of their lives–I am still here. I still whisper anything. anywhere.