Hope was home for fall break recently. I just saw my daughter a few weeks ago when I went to visit for Parents’ Weekend, and like the first visit, her fall break was great.
Although I’m striding through this empty nest thing in relatively good shape, I do miss Hope’s presence at home. It was nice to have her home, to smell her smell, to cook for her, to fuss over her, to fuss a bit at her for sleeping on the couch rather than in her bed.
It was a delight; just thinking about it almost makes me cry.
And then I have a reality check and remember that she’s enjoying college and I’m enjoying having a daughter who is away at college.
As we chatted the weekend away, Hope broached the subject of her grades.
I’ve been asking about how things are going over the last few weeks. I knew midterms were coming and I was checking in to see how she felt about them. While there is a part of meet that clearly wants to see good (great) grades, I’ve repeated told Hope that I was more concerned about her getting settled, finding friends and getting involved. I wanted her to just be ok; the academic performance would eventually come.
Yeah, this is different than how much I’ve pushed, dragged and pulled Hope through the last 6 years of school. What can I say, college is different. For college, she gets to study things that really interest her; she has more control. Hope has options and choices, and I believe that once she gets her sea legs under her, she will embrace all of that.
Actually she already is.
She’s having fun; she has friends. She opts to stay at schools on the weekends so she hang out with friends. She’s engaged in activities. She is doing the dang thing.
And yes, she still wants to do well academically. My goal? This semester, my hope is that Hope will do well enough and build enough confidence to go back and do it all again next semester.
So, Hope started warning me about her mid-term grades. I asked her did she do her best? She said yes; I said cool. I asked a few more questions, suggested that she go talk to her professors about what she can do to improve and check out tutoring services since they are free and probably will help. And then I dropped it until a few days ago.
She sent her grades and framed the texts almost apologetically.
There was an A in probably the hardest course: Mandarin.
The was an A in an intro required course all freshmen take.
The other mid-term grades were really not good.
But there weren’t any surprises, really. I pointed out how one class might have been a letter grade higher if she turned that paper in on time last month. She said, yeah, I was probably right.
And then I said I’m still so proud of you; you’re doing fine. Finals can make a big difference, but the goal of being stable enough to go back next semester is pretty much a done deal.
And then I told her to have fun this weekend and try not to tipsy text your mother.
I’m sure she looked at her phone and wondered who body snatched me.
What can I say, my expectations for Hope are different now. I know she’s going to be fine. I see her blossoming a little more each week.
And it is really emotional. Six years ago this month, I hopped a plane to fly to the west coast to meet the child who would become my beloved daughter for the first time.
And now, she’s a college freshman.
Damn, yo. Hope is a college student who is doing fine.
For the first time, we’re in a situation that looks and feels normal, and that ish feels so good.
So, the first round of mid-terms are a success in my book. Just 7 more midterm episodes to go.