A Brief History of a Pivotal Year

This has been a year of duality- its been both fantastic and ravaging. The ravaging aspect comes in the form of longer work hours, both for me and my child, greater educational challenge, increased responsibilities for musical commitments, and less downtime. The flip-side, the fantastic aspect, has been the payoff of the those efforts and only underscores the importance of work and dedication.

The ravaging work laden undercurrent of this year brought with it multiple applications for both school and scholarships. The two most thorough of which included the Stanford Online High School application and the Caroline D. Bradley scholarship application, which was referred to in our household as “the octopus” because its tentacles stretched in so many directions. Both applications required multiple forms of standardized testing which made this year replete with the SCAT, ACT, and SAT. The year will conclude with multiple AP exams.

Personal essays, work samples, and letters of recommendation were also required forms for these applications. I cannot fathom the amount of time my child spent on these essays and work samples but I would hypothesize that it was in the 20+ hour range, especially given that the result of the work sample submission included two blogs. Again, this did not come easy, it was not handed to her by her own genetics- all of this took effort.

As the application and testing circus was performing in its corner trying to distract us, all the typical stuff was ramped up as well- the courses became more challenging and her commitment to music increased as she prepared for more competitive events and joined an honors orchestra.

And who wants to write a novel? And, “Mom, I don’t really want to have my series self-published, I want to send out manuscripts and have it published the traditional way.”  So, lets add that to the mix. The absurdity of the whole thing becomes glaringly apparent as I write this. Its not as if anyone outside a small bubble of people would empathize. I can barely fathom that either of us have survived to this point.

But we both have. And we both know what is possible- her especially. She is likely maxed out on hearing me muse about the pride I have for the amount of time and genuine effort she committed this year in multitudes of directions, but it amazes me, so once in a while I can’t help but emphasize it.

Its difficult not to get tangled up in all the rewards in light of the embarrassment of riches that have been unwrapped this year. But the constant that underscores all of it is the work. I want my daughter to know that her gifts are a platform from which to grow, explore, and dive. And that in order to truly embrace her capabilities that she will have to challenge herself, at times jump through the hoops, and dig in and find the discipline she needs to actualize all that she can be.

Meanwhile, I’d just like to grow, explore, and dive into nap time.


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