Friday, December 5, 2008

I Turned Around and My Baby Grew Up

Wasn't it just yesterday that she was four years old and insisting to wear an Indian headband everywhere we went, or six years old and climbing to the top of the play fort? Not just climbing the ladder into the fort but climbing to the very top rail of the tent roof. I tried not to act terrified when I told her calmly to come down. She looked at me and laughed.

We used to laugh at the way she mispronounced breakfast when she was little. For the first few years she pronounced it bre-fakst, and when she started spelling, it was just as bad. She hated reading and writing and would do almost anything to avoid it. But she was a whiz at math and no one ever noticed any real problems. It wasn't until she was a freshman in high school that we began to suspect she might have dyslexia, but when we talked about getting her tested so she could get help, she refused because she didn't want it on her school record.

She was so competitive, she forced herself to keep up in honors classes, even though it took her twice as long to read the material and sometimes couldn't finish the tests. But she never gave in or gave up, and managed to graduate in the top ten percent of her class.

Now she is a senior in college. The classes are hard, the reading still takes her twice as long as everyone else, and she still doesn't finish every test, but she has been on Dean's List every semester. This is the time of year that engineering students interview for jobs, sometimes an interview will last all day and she has to give a presentation over a project she has done. She loves being recruited, even though it takes more of her time. Her Thanksgiving was spent working on a project in the car as we drove to Grandmas and back.

She had an all day interview again today with a company, and they paid for her travel and hotel. My mother's heart worried about her staying alone in a hotel and driving into a strange city at night, but she wanted to do it alone.

She stopped by on the way home this afternoon to spend time with me even though she has a paper due and finals coming up. After a few hours, she left to go back to college, which she now calls home, because she has meetings tomorrow. That stubborn, wonderful child has grown up. I've been mothering for twenty-six years. What am I now?

Until next time, may you have blessings and joy in your children,
Marti

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