I seemed to really hit a chord with a few anxious Moms out there, who might (!) have a little trouble Letting Go. And I totally get it – obviously I write about stuff that either interests me or troubles me too! There’s probably a whole book in this subject, but for today, I have a few more thoughts. (To see the original post and poem, go to https://mypuzzledlife.com/2015/03/23/letting-go-part-1-the-kids/).
A friend of mine once said, it’s easier when your kids are little. Their problems are little too. If you have a typically developing child (this is PC talk, BTW…), who is also healthy of course, the above statement is generally true.
When your kid is nearing the end of high school, and they have miraculously gotten through said high school alive (Thank God – and I’m not being facetious… those experimental years were tough!!); the next big thing is where am I going to college/university and what am I going to study? Let’s think back to when we were 18 or 19… Did any of us envision how our life actually turned out? How the heck does an 18-year old know what they want to do for the rest of their life? And humans are living longer lives now – this is not just for the next 50 years or so – it’s probably going to be for the next 70 years at least!
When my older brother was going through this, he was “encouraged” by my parents to study business. What he really wanted to do was something in sports – he lived for sports. But he did as he was told – and then after graduation, slogged away at a sales job in the food services industry that he absolutely hated. Finally, just before his 30th birthday, he went back to school and teacher’s college to become a high school teacher and coach football. This was what he was meant to do – it was and is his passion – he loves it! This made quite an impression on me – especially when my boys were going through this process.
For Son #1, all I asked him was, “What do you like to do?” And as far as a choice of university, we told him he could go anywhere he wanted – we had no vested interest in his choice. It had to be right for him.
Henry was another story. Now remember – this is the kid that I wasn’t sure would ever graduate high school. I wasn’t ever sure that he would “get” math. He has a significant communication disability. But – is this kid ever creative!!! And with a quirky (read “out there”!) sense of humour! And as far as doing anything on the computer? He could do it in his sleep…. This is a piece that he produced where he was supposed to write a poem, using only 6 words….
So… did he pick graphic arts? Or graphic design? Or comic development? Or anything to do with computers??? NO!!! Maybe as a result of being a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory (I mean – I get it – there are huge overlaps between Henry and Sheldon…), but maybe more due to the fact that his high school science teacher, “Z”, was hugely enthusiastic, fun, encouraging and a significant mentor to Henry – he wanted to study science – in particular, biology. So… I began a search for small colleges that were within a 2-hour drive. And we looked into residence. Although we live in the largest city in Canada, and there are a slew of excellent colleges and universities for us to choose from, Henry indicated that he had no intention of living at home for his collegiate experience. Well – good on him! And he’s doing well! But he’s picked a program that requires a combined average of over 70% for the maths and sciences. And he was not to be deterred! So – we are hopeful that he will gain entry into this program. And we will do everything that we can do to help him get through it. And if it doesn’t work out – we will go to Plan B (remember I said – always have a Plan B?).
So – it is tough to Let Go and let them make their own choices. But I far prefer that alternative to always hovering over them and making their decisions for them! And on that note, I have to go make a To Do List for the stuff that has to be accomplished before his summer semester begins! (For him, of course….)