My oldest daughter is starting 10th grade this year, and she is considering colleges and what she wants to do for a career. This exercise took me back to my own years in high school, and college prep. And I quickly realized that I am ill-prepared for so much.

I took the SATs in sixth or seventh grade and did exceptionally well. In high school, I took the PSATs, and judging from the college literature I received, I must have done well. I regularly got mail from MIT, Duke, and other fine colleges. I secretly decided that no school within a 12 hour drive would work. I had to get out, and far away as possible.

I took the ACTs because all the church colleges I was considering required the ACTs in addition to the SATs. It didn't seem like I'd need both. I didn't know how well I had done until some 10 years later when a community college admissions counselor called to ask me if I had meant to have my scores sent to them. Apparently, community colleges don't get many students with a super high score. If only I'd know that when I was in high school...

But I was ill-prepared. Although I had talked to counselors at several schools and been verbally offered a free ride based on my scores, grades, and intended subject matter, my applications never made it to a single one of those schools. For years I thought it was irresponsibility on my part. Now that I have a high school aged child of my own, I realize that nothing could be further from the truth.

So much of the real world and life outside of childhood I was robbed of preparation for. I remember my aunt teasing me when I attempted to make a tossed salad just after I'd graduated high school. I don't think she realized I had never made a salad before in my life. You're supposed to wash the lettuce first? And tear the leaves in small pieces? I had never witnessed this being done or tried to do it on my own. I did what seemed like it made sense. I just missed the details.

This is true about so many areas of my life. I go out with the best intentions, but there is the element of detailed preparation that I am not privy to. I give it my all, and on some level I don't measure up or I flat out fail. And I hate the feeling of failure. At some point, I stop wanting to try something I don't know. Cooking. Home decor. Sewing. Life skills that I never learned.

But I believe that I can learn these skills...even if it's late. My request? Please don't tease me when I ask you how often to wash the sheets on our beds. I'm excited to have sheets that match for all the beds! Don't laugh at me when I do something in a long-drawn out manner that you have a magic shortcut for. Most likely, no one has shown me how to do this thing...and I'm just experimenting with the process. Kindly suggest that it might be easier if...

I know one thing: I will do everything I can to make sure that my children are well-prepared when they leave our home. They can choose their way, but I want to make sure they have the tools to succeed no matter where they go. There is no greater goal as a parent than to prepare your children for life!


Anonymous said…
I have a couple for you...
Did you know that you can rinse out your knickers in the bathroom sink if you need you don't have to come up with a full load for the washing machine???
Did you know that you can buy Corn Flakes and raisins separately and mix them together so you get the right amount of each???
Did you know it is just as easy and costs the same to keep the top half of the gas tank filled as the bottom half???
I got tons of 'em! I just laugh at myself now when I learn a new one.

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