If my kid doesn't find a college, does this make me a sh#@$% parent?
DAMN IT! We said we were gonna be on the ball this time around! We said we were gonna be more organized than we were last time! Will we ever get it right?!
Brigham is a junior, a second semester junior in high school. Years ago, when Allen-Michael was looking for the right college, we felt behind the eight ball because we began our search for the "right" campus the summer before his junior year! Ask me how many campuses we've looked at for Brigham....go ahead, ask!
Okay, that's not entirely true. When we drove to Arizona last spring we toured ASU and U of A simply because they were nearby. But, we didn't really think Brigham would head out of state for college, so it was more just to give him an idea of what an actual college campus looked like.
Here we are in [almost] February of his junior year. At this point Brig has taken the SAT twice, and he's spent time on career assessment as well. However, he has no idea what he wants to do with his life (can you believe this, the kid is already SEVENTEEN and doesn't have a clue what he wants to do in life...JEEZ!)
I am pretty frick'n sure we've failed as parents.
Y'all know I am totally kidding, right?!
Brigham is gonna find his way, I have complete faith and confidence in him. Because he's got a great head on his shoulders.
Here's a good example...last year when Brigham was struggling with Pre AP math he told me he wanted to register for regular math this year instead of the accelerated program. "Great!" I said. "You know better than I what you are capable of."
(There are a lot of parents out there who now think I am completely insane.)
Brig's doing terrific in math this year, and he's about to have to really sharpen his time management skills because the spring tennis season is starting which means 4-day school weeks on top of some challenging course work, and a part-time job.
But he's got this. And, if it gets to be too much, he knows he's got support in the choices he'll need to make going forward.
As for touring college campuses...
I went online and booked a tour at Texas A&M for spring break because Brigham mentioned in passing he might have interest in attending school there. Then, after I booked the tour, I said to myself:
"Kim...why are YOU booking a campus tour when it's your son who is trying to figure out where he might like to go to college?"
To which I responded:
"Good question Kim...I guess because I am afraid if I don't go ahead and get things all set up for him he won't make the effort, and I will have to keep nagging him, and there is a chance he will become a permanent fixture at our breakfast table come June of 2016 when he graduates high school."
"Really Kim? Do you really think Brigham is just going to throw away all his hard work in high school and his great SAT score and spend the rest of his life busing tables at La Madeline?"
"No...no, I don't really believe he will do that. Brigham knows he has lots of great potential, even if he doesn't have a career direction yet. After all, how many kids know what they want to do at seventeen? I know I didn't have a clue. I am just anxious and I don't want him to get so overwhelmed about the idea of moving on in his life that he freezes, potentially screwing up what I fear is his entire life. I love him and, as his mom, I just want to help him!"
"You know the best way you can help him, right Kim?"
"By letting him spend his free time looking at colleges online and figuring out what is important to him in a school. By being there to listen to him and help him navigate if he has questions? By actually trusting him instead of just saying I trust him to find his way..."
"Of course! Don't get so uptight about his future. Have faith! He will be motivated enough to find the right answers for himself. Because, you know as well as I do, we should not do for others what they can do for themselves..."
"You're right Kim, and so very wise. Besides Brigham knows we'd charge him rent and impose some kind of ridiculous curfew on him if he chose to fore go college and work full-time instead of continuing his education."
Whew. Now I can just sit back, relax, and watch Brigham enjoy the rest of his high school year knowing God's timing will take care of Brigham's next step in life.
The moral of the story is this: Parents spend too much time and energy worrying about the grades, the sports, the deadlines, the money, the way their kid compares to the next...and not about what's REALLY freak'n important which is being there for your child. To listen, to support, to encourage, to guide when needed, and to just accept unconditionally.
Am I wrong????????????????