As I sit here in silence, which is a rarity, with no sounds but the fireplace gentling blowing some warmth my way on this cold winter’s day, I see this college admissions letter on the island in front of me. It is for my beautiful daughter who is now a senior in high school. My mind whisks back to the overwhelming anticipation I remember feeling while waiting for her. I couldn’t wait to meet her, hold her, and love her.
Memories begin to flood into my mind. She arrived on a spring afternoon the day before Easter! I delivered her Saturday and was home by Sunday! I was so exhausted. I asked the nurse, “Could my husband and the baby go home, and I’ll just stay and get some rest?” Of course, the nurse’s response was, “NO!”
The tsunami of thoughts keeps coming to mind… I remember the chunky, little legs standing with the wobbly knees getting ready to take those first steps toward me, her first day at school walking her down the crowded hallway to her classroom and leaving her, which was just down the hall from my classroom! I clearly remember holding the back of her bike and running along side her as she gets ready to ride off down the block all by herself with her ponytails blowing in the wind! Then, there is the first base hit in softball, her bright, proud smile getting on the honor roll, and we can’t forget sitting in the warm natatorium watching her during her first swim meet. One of my all time favorite memories is when she swam with the dolphins at Discovery Cove. It seems like only a few days later… and now, she's in high school!
Discovery Cove 2002
As high school starts, it’s all new. We have a whole new set of firsts. In high school, we have dress shopping for the first Homecoming dance, buying flowers for the first Turnabout dance, and watching her run in her first track meet. I can't forget the first choir concert, getting her first job and paycheck, opening a bank account, and first time to Prom!! Let’s NOT talk about the first boyfriend!! That, I will save for a separate blog entry all by itself!
As I look back with so many firsts, we enter yet another uncharted domain, COLLEGE! The mail from colleges around the country, that was delivered over the last year, definitely took down some major forest acreage! There were postcards, booklets and letters. From FAFSA, essays, applications, and college visits, it is another transitional time. Looking back, it seems raising children is one new thing after another filled with joyful firsts all along the way!
This year now, I am saying, “This is your last first day of high school! This is your last homecoming dance! This is the last time we will go shopping for a formal dress.” I am actually FINE with the last time to buy a formal dress!! Have you seen the prices on those things?
I will admit, I am a bit torn between letting her go away to college or staying local. I act as though I have total say. I am not sure I do. She has been accepted to a local university and one that is about 2 hours away that would, of course, be too far to commute to daily and would take her away. Confession… the wicked thought of opening the admissions letters or putting it in a BIG pile of mail and misplacing it has crossed my mind! Is that wrong? Ok, some might think so! I didn’t do that though! I gave them to her. I’m dying to open the admissions letter sitting here on the island. It seems to be whispering in the silence, “Open me”. It’s to my alma mater, PURDUE! I’ll wait until she gets home to let her open it as I sit and wait to hear what it says!
As one chapter ends, so does a new one begin…