Mine, not hers.
Little one is heading off to high school on Monday. School has always been an issue for her. Not the academics... the crowds. She went to the same school for K-8th...a small school of under 500 kids. Some years she was in a part time program because the large group thing was just too much. These last couple years she went every single day....some days she only lasted for a half day. After Christmas break though, we all nudged her to last all day because we knew high school was coming up.
A couple nights ago we went to freshman orientation. I sat through the athletic directors spiel about parent involvement. Did you know that according to him, parent involvement can solve all that ails our youth? He happily told us all about is own daughter who has been away at a beautiful college that overlooks the ocean, she even has a locker for her surf board. All because he and his wife were involved. "If you aren't involved, then you are part of the problem."
I sat there listening and wondered how many other hurting parents were sitting there hearing his simplistic view to curing our hurting children. Drug abuse, mental illness, family upsets, lack of employment, chronic health problems.... if involvement had been all it took, if love was enough....I wouldn't have needed to process the life that cold cocked me square in the face, in this blog for the past 8 years.
So I decided to take what I liked and leave the rest. There were some phone numbers, some kind faces who made themselves available as known "safe people" to come to if trouble arises, the bell schedule so I know what time to get her there....stuff like that. (I'm sending my daughter somewhere where they need designated "safe people" to seek out in the event of trouble? WTH? I'm grateful and afraid all at once. )
I have somewhat radical ideas on education anyway... which I don't voice very often because Little One really wants to try this and I don't want to influence her. I want it to be her own personal choice. I think it may feel like a fresh start to her. She did great at orientation and when I had to run to the bank for cash to pay for "stuff," rather than wanting to come with me, she said she would stay there with her friends.
A dad of a boy she has shared the same class with every year since 1st grade is coaching the snowboarding team. He came over and escorted her to the sign up table by putting a pen in her hand and saying, "Sign it. I want you out there with us." I love this family and I am so grateful. We will see....
I just so want her to be happy and comfortable and find her niche. She is such a sweet kid, and I am so very very exhausted from raising 4 kids with all of their various troubles. Do you hear me? I am so very tired.
Its been a rough week of letting go for the 7,980,896,000,000th time. (I don't even know what number that is....I just typed numbers and put commas after every third digit.....but you get my point.) Letting go is still my nemesis. Occasionally, I still think I have the answers for my girl. That know-it-all voice has gotten much quieter through the years....its now just a nagging whisper, "Maybe if she tried this....."
Of course I have 3 other children besides her. I have to let go of them too. Let them find their own way, not give suggestions...just listen and be present. Some days I feel like throwing a fit and stomping my foot.... "Just do it my way and lets get this over with!"
That has never worked in the past and you all know the definition of insanity.....
God love us all as we figure out this crazy journey.