A QUICK NOTE: M is home and thus it’s safe to share this. This has been languishing, unpublished, for a while, actually, and was mostly written when she was only almost-home.
I saw these trophies at Target the other day and I just barely restrained myself from purchasing one:
See that? It says “CONGRATS ON ADULTING” and I really feel like M deserves one. But since she has far more impressive trophies, medals, and certificates cluttering up her closet, I decided to skip the money & plastic waste and just took a picture instead.
M’s season at Breckenridge is winding down, and she’ll be arriving home again in less than two weeks. There has been a lot–a lot–that’s been bad about the past year, but one of the bright spots for Cute W and me has been observing our daughter “work the problem,” as Cute W would say. Sure, there were some moments of despair and seriously sullen moods, especially in late summer and early fall, but that’s to be expected. What we didn’t expect was the unbelievable dogged tenacity with which M researched and planned, re-adjusted and researched and planned some more, sought creative solutions, and applied to and nailed down multiple jobs with almost zero assistance from us. It is seriously impressive.
But beyond just landing the jobs, she’s traveled on her own, managed her own grocery shopping and cooking, scored herself a vaccine, and made all those appointments and arrangements that are so intimidating as you transition from kid to grown-up. She’s just gotten shit done, and I am super-proud of her but also I just feel like: okay. She’s become a fully-functional (if not entirely self-funded) adult. I know that she can Handle Things and I feel both pride and relief.
I am also so happy for her because she’s had about as good an experience as someone can during this crazy year. The path of least resistance would have been attending college as planned, and that’s what almost all of her friends did, but I just think that this experience has been amazing for her. She’ll (hopefully) still get that full-on college-y college experience, but during this gap year she made wonderful friends, she learned to snowboard and improved her skiing, and she got a sense of what it’s like to deal with apartment living and coping with mediocre managers and figuring out what to do about dinner when you’re exhausted, and that stuff is invaluable. She was talking about a few blatantly sexist things that she and her coworkers have encountered, and part of me was sympathetic, and part of me was like, “Yay! You have acquired Priceless Life Experiences That Will Shape Your Outlook For Decades To Come!” She was less impressed than I was, frankly, but we grown-ups know that life experiences like those are precious and can only be full appreciated with a little more time and perspective.
So: yay. This was a tough call, and part of me was afraid that we were making that one big mistake that we’d regret, that she’d end up wrapped around a tree or on a ventilator on a COVID floor, and I am relieved and thrilled.
Update: As I wrote this, I feared that I was tempting fate because she is still not under my roof. Therefore, Superstitious Katie is putting this entire post on hold until my Little Baby is back home with us.
Updated Update: Literally the day I wrote this, M’s roommate had a horrific skiing accident that put her and another person in the hospital. Which is awful and nauseatingly stressful. But also there were bad choices involved that I feel pretty confident are much worse choices than any of my daughter’s potential bad choices.
But wait, there’s more: Since she’s arrived home, M has scored a couple of new summer jobs and continued her admirable “adulting” by renewing her passport and getting her medical forms in order for college. I also forgot how nice it is to have someone in the house who enjoys folding laundry.