It is a frustratingly grueling process. You want your children to be confident and self-assured, but how do you help them to be realistic at the same time? You want her to see herself as a synthesis of positive character traits and experience and abilities, and you watch as she gets reduced to numbers. You want to tell them that it's not THAT important, but a part of you is saying inside that it IS. How much do you help? When is advice necessary, even when it's not wanted? How do you keep them on top of the process so they have time to give it their best, without taking away their own sense of ownership in the process?
Well - we've done it. T. pushed the "submit" button on her last 3 of 14 (!) applications yesterday. With a heavy line up of many competitive schools, we encouraged her to send out a lot, in order to have some choices (we hope!) when the results come in. And we are hoping that she is well armed to take the results with equanimity, no matter how the chips fall.
The sky this morning fit my mood. You can see the looming, muddy-gray cloud bank to the left that seemed to be getting pushed away by the rising blue. There was also a beautiful flock of birds whose wings caught the morning light as they circled the back field, the best display of wildlife so far this year.
So - on from here. Having just had a conversation with a frustrated and burnt out daughter the other night about graduating from high school early (since she has the necessary credits after first term - next week), we're not under any illusion that the tough times have gone. We gave her proposal full consideration, but feel strongly that she needs to see through this last term, and will probably have fun with it in the end. It is hard to see your children sad and disheartened. You want to fix everything, but you can't live their lives for them. You just have to buoy them with whatever love you can, and hope they find their own way. Meanwhile, I will find solace in an occasional halleluia sky.