From Elaina: My 18 year old daughter has college orientation this week. Her and I sat down and discussed the pros and cons of her going alone versus me going with her. She decided that it would be scary to go alone, but it was something that she wanted to do. She is there right now and doing great! She is paying more attention than she would if I was there. She is problem solving little snafus. She is really coming into her own and gaining self-confidence. The problem? She is one of the only kids there without a parent. Now I know that her and I made the right decision for her, but I still think about the other parents there and how they must feel sorry for her. I am sure that some of them are judging me for not supporting my daughter.
This reminds me of when my girls were little and the “mommy wars”. Breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. Cloth diapers vs. disposable. Stay at home mom vs. working. Why do we do this to each other? Why does someone else need to be wrong in order for us to be right? Are we so scared to make the wrong choice that we have to assure ourselves by negating someone else’s choices?
The truth is that we are all walking our own path. We have different abilities, finances, hopes and dreams. We should realize that we are all doing the best we can with the resources at hand. In my daughter’s case, she is an October baby. She has almost a full year of maturity on some of these kids. She is also the baby of the family. She’s always had someone else to help her decide her course of action. It’s her time now. Time to forge her own path. Make decisions. Make mistakes. Learn how to adjust.
I hope to learn and grow just like my daughter is. I hope to be secure enough in my decisions to not feel the need to explain my choices. I will acknowledge that one size does not fit all. We are all walking the path before us. I will honor that all the parents at the orientation made the best choice for their family. For me, I will hold onto the message my daughter sent last night thanking me for helping her “just the right amount”.