Last weekend, my daughter uninvited me from a conversation about colleges between her and her grandfather (aka my dad). My daughter’s exact words were: “Mom, you can stay if you promise to sit and listen only.” We both knew that was not a promise I could keep so I quickly excused myself from the back porch and headed inside to find my mom and the rest of the family who’d welcome my opinions.
I should mention that I wasn’t angry. My daughter and my dad have shared a really close bond since she was born. In the DNA shuffle, my daughter seems to have pulled most of my dad’s DNA – they both have big personalities and understand each other very well. I’m grateful that their bond has remained over the years and only grown stronger. Now, my daughter is a senior in high school and still seeking out her grandfather for advice and support.
But my daughter’s words got me thinking. Over the years, I’ve told both of my girls a similar version of the following: this is your swim career, I already had mine. This is your high school experience, I went to high school years ago. This is your school schedule, you need to choose the classes that interest you. You have to take the class, not me. I already sat through six years of Latin, you need to pick a foreign language class you want.
Over the years, I’ve met quite a few parents who were clearly reliving something from their pasts through their kids. I didn’t want to ever do that – I liked my childhood and haven’t felt it needed to be repeated through my kids. However, it’s clear I have still managed to weave in my personal opinions, personal preferences, and tastes all the same. Otherwise my daughter wouldn’t have asked me to sit quietly and listen. LOL!!! Now, I keep telling myself that even though my daughter is my daughter, she’s also her own person and needs to make the right decision for her. And that decision might not be the one I would make for her.
This is important you see because next month we’re headed on college visits. I’ve already prepped my daughter and promised to keep my opinions to myself during the visits. But once we’re home, I’m talking. Wish me luck! Or better yet, wish my daughter luck – she’s might need it more than me.
If you’re looking for something fun to read on the porch, in your beach chair or poolside, Her Surprise Engagement, is releasing July 1st!
Her Surprise Engagement ~ Available July 2020 https://amzn.to/2VfD43g
Romancing her Valentine in the box set, BE MY HEARTWARMING VALENTINE ~ Available Now! https://amzn.to/2rALeI2
You can find Cari on Facebook and Twitter.
I love this. I hope all your daughter's experiences are good and happy ones, and that you enjoy them from the periphery where you've so wisely placed yourself.ReplyDelete
I remember college visits and the decisions with our kids. I wish you both the best!ReplyDelete
I've seen so parents who aren't as self-aware as you're trying to be. Hope the school visits go well amidst this really weird period.ReplyDelete
It's a delicate balance. I saw a quote recently, (the source says Rita Mae Brown, but I think the sentiment is far older) "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment." Still, there's no reason each generation needs to start from scratch. We share our experience and mistakes so that our children don't need to repeat them. Your daughter sounds like she has the confidence to make good decisions. Best of luck in the process. And have fun!ReplyDelete
I'm not sure exactly how and why this happened, but by the time my boys were looking at university, they had it figured out on their own. Our oldest got accepted at several schools but chose to attend one of the local ones. (We lived in Toronto, so they were still big schools.) He wanted the financial security of living at home. The youngest decided he wanted the experience of being on campus, and went to a school a couple of hours away. Unless I'm forgetting something though, they applied and visited all on their own. They arranged for loans and grants as well.ReplyDelete
It was good that they could do that - we're now thousands of miles away on the boat, and have confidence that they can manage their lives on their own.
They still get some opinions on their decisions from my spouse, but he shares them more with me than them nowadays.
I love this article. My older daughter and I love different books. She loves French and Russian literature and I love genre fiction, especially romance and cozy mysteries. I've told her it doesn't matter what she reads as long as she enjoys reading as much as I do. So, I can totally relate to accepting each of our children have their personal tastes and preferences. Thanks for writing this blog and I hope the college visits go well.ReplyDelete
So glad you have a good relationship with your daughter! And she has one with her grandfather. I'm afraid it's quite rare...Congrats on raising an independent daughter! And on your book release!ReplyDelete
Such a sweet story. It sounds like your daughter has a good head on her shoulders and is ready to tackle life beyond your home. Congrats on this next season for her and congrats on the new book!ReplyDelete
I love your story. Congratulations on the new book!ReplyDelete