When I first sat down to write this post I only had the tiniest bit of focus, and as I continued to write even that went astray. My first draft covered a wide variety of topics, but I only pulled a few together for this post. The upside: there will be another post from the leftovers soon.
This coming week both my children start at a new school. My son starts his freshman year in high school, and my daughter — sigh — starts her freshman college year. I think they’re more ready than I am for this next phase in their lives.It’s a beautiful, Southern California Friday afternoon (redundant?) and I’m enjoying a beer while sitting on the patio of a restaurant near my daughter’s new school. She needed to pick up her parking pass and a book at the bookstore, and walk around campus for a bit to find her classrooms. She wanted to bring her BFF along so that they could walk around the campus together, but since neither of them can drive the other I came along as the driving chaperone as it were.
The bookstore is directly across from me, and since classes start this coming Monday there’s quite a bit of activity going on there. But I would swear that over half the people heading in there aren’t nearly old enough to be going to college. Then again, I don’t think my daughter is either.
This past July marked the 9 year anniversary of my moving out of the last house shared with Donna – the Egg Donor. I’ve seen a lot in the past 9 years on my own, and enjoyed most of it! Great relationships: friendships that have developed, some that have faded, I’ve loved, and I’ve lost, and it’s all been worth it.
I’ve been to court too many times for custody reasons, and while I’ve won each time it’s never pleasant. (Though I did get more than just a little bit of satisfaction when she’s taken me to court, tried to slander me, only to have her friends tell the truth about me and had the court document the truth about her.)
I’ve seen my daughter go from tears at the age of 10, because she thought she made a mistake by telling the court she wanted to live with me and not move out of state with her mother, to being 17 and standing up to her mother to say she wants to live with me full-time (even though mom is now only 1 mile away). And I’ve seen my son struggle through school as a child, but become a well-prepared freshman in high school; a young man that I continue to be proud of.
But college? Really? I’m a bit worried about her; that she’s getting in over her head with the classes she’s taking, or at best is simply unaware of what’s ahead of her. She keeps trying to insist that she’ll be able to take 13 units, and have 2 jobs. I don’t think she gets it. Or is it me that doesn’t get it? I think we’ll find out in the next couple of weeks, and I’m worried about the results either way.
There’s another component of the college life though that I “worry” about as I sit here sipping my beer. About 50% of the students walking into the bookstore are…boys. It’s not my daughter I worry about. She’s actually still uncomfortable around boys. Most boys anyway. She hasn’t had a boyfriend, and hasn’t had a date. I’m not worried about her behavior though, I’m worried about theirs.
I was relieved when she decided to live at home instead of on-campus…in co-ed dorms. But even though she won’t be living with freshman boys down the hall, I realize that in all likelihood she’s going to meet someone at her new school. Someone she “likes”. Someone that “likes” her as well. I’m a little less than fully trusting of them though, because she is very trusting. She doesn’t like to hurt people either, so I’m also worried that she’d stay in a “relationship” with someone longer than she really wants to. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
Or maybe they’re more ready to enter this next phase of their lives than I am.