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.
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