I recently overheard my hubby saying, “Thank God my wife has a psychology degree or we would never have made it this far in the parenting department.” I am not sure that is completely true, but it has helped us tremendously over the years. I think what really matters is that he has an engineering mind and carries his logic around to put out our emotions that can burst into flames at any given moment. We have an ability to neutralize the situation if we work together.
I frequently write about our oldest girls and the mayhem that goes with the territory of their adulting. There are changes brewing. Some I can just faintly smell in the air, others I can see coming a mile away and a couple are just about ready to march up our driveway.
Our oldest, Alex, is just weeks away from graduating from college. It’s a huge milestone for sure. She is also on the brink of applying to Physician Assistant (PA) graduate programs across the country. This has been her goal for 4 years. She has been saying, “I am applying to PA school my senior year…” for her entire college career. Today, the application window opens and the process begins.
The phone calls have been coming more frequently and her personal statement has been revised more times than I care to count. There is excitement mixed with fear. Excitement that this part is almost complete and fear that it’s coming to an end. Excitement for the next chapter and fear for what comes next. She is entertaining every thought and concern. What happens if all of her work doesn’t pay off the way she expects it to? What if her journey takes an unexpected turn? Anxiety has begun to rule, while confidence seems to elude.
It will pass, but for the time being it has taken up residence like an unwelcome houseguest.
Logic and words offer a temporary salve, but when she thinks too much the uncertainty returns.
Alex’s life hasn’t been perfect or void of pitfalls and disappointments. She knows life doesn’t always go the way she has planned. She knows firsthand about detours and she even has the recipe for making lemonade out of lemons. This is different though. For her, it feels like everything is riding on the outcome of this process. It feels black and white. If she gets in, she is a success. If she doesn’t, she has somehow failed. For those of us who have been adulting for awhile now, we know that life can throw curve balls. We know that sometimes we succeed at what we set out to do and other times the unexpected detour turns out to be exactly the right path.
Time and space have allowed us the vision of knowing that things often work out the way they are supposed to rather than how we thought they should go.
I don’t know what will happen over the next 6 months as Alex navigates this very long application process. I do know that she is going to be an amazing PA and that she is already a success. She is motivated, determined, hard working, empathetic, loving and she has grit. Whether she continues to work in the medical field and gain experience or she is admitted to a graduate program next year she is going to be okay.
So, Alex, turn in those applications. Be confident. Dad and I will be standing beside you through all of it, proud to call you our daughter. Of course, we will be standing with a fire extinguisher and a hose just in case you burst into flames because sometimes adulting is hard.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G