Monday, August 19, 2013

Mom, What Should I Do?

"Mom, what should I do about high school and college?"  What a loaded question.  Full of teenage angst.  Stressing me to the fullest extent.  So many answers and yet, I'm a little scared to give advice.  I have so many college students who come into my office and say, "What should I be when I grow up?"  And I can't answer that question.  And I'm not afraid to say those exact words.  I.  Can't.  Answer.  That.  Question.
I don't know what's going on in your head.
I don't know what you're interested in.
I can't guarantee you'll make a lot of money or it will be easy.
What do I do in those situations?  I throw the question right back at them.  "What do you want to do, be, finish, accomplish, achieve?"

I used the same tactic on my oldest daughter when she asked me the loaded question yesterday.  She'll be a junior in high school this year and she's done.  Mentally, she's ready to move forward.  She really is, in the general sense of the word, done with her credits.  She only has a few more classes to take her senior year which wouldn't constitute a full schedule.  I want to tell her don't hurry.  I want to tell her it's not all that being an adult.  I want to keep her my little girl forever.  But reality sets in and I know the time is quickly approaching.  We've talked about taking college classes during her senior year and even discussed the possibility with her school counselor.  Who wasn't very helpful.  And not very encouraging.  (Good thing I'm a college advisor so I can ignore her and advise my daughter on my own.)

We talked about a half and half schedule next year, her senior year.  Half the day at high school, the other half at the college.  We also discussed finishing an Associate's degree before moving on to an out-of-state university.  Yes, you read correctly.  Out-of-state.  University.  Away from me.  Not in Utah.  I'm excited for her.  I'm happy she wants to explore and not get stuck in the same rut, same old crowd, same ol' same ol'.  But inside I'm freaking out.  I can't go one weekend away from my girls without having withdrawals.  To have my oldest child out of state?  Whoa!  I'm going to be the worst basket case EVER!

But, back to the whole school idea.  We went through the whole list of pros and cons.  How beneficial is it to stay all day at the high school your senior year?  Would you be able to handle the college work load?  Do you want to miss out on some things at the high school because you'll be taking college classes?  Do you really want to rush things?  And I believe we (or she) settled on one that fits her.  She loves the thought of the half and half schedule for her senior year.  Since she wants to go out of state, she doesn't have to worry about the extra credits needed for the Utah Scholars program.  She can do what's absolutely necessary to finish high school and already start gathering those college credits.  She's very happy with this decision.  I'm very happy she came to the conclusion on her own after weighing her options.  Of course, as the mind of a teenager works, all of this could change in an instant.  Tomorrow she could be telling me she wants to stay at the high school because she has great friends/classes/programs/boyfriend.  She could scratch the whole plan and just go with tradition.  Either way, I know it will be her decision.  But for now, we can start prepping these last two years of high school with a somewhat solid game plan.  Next on the agenda, driver's license!!!  Sigh...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Queen of my Domain

I have the most I-mazing, Ozum children EVER!!!  I've been working four 10-hour shifts this whole summer and I'm exhausted!  Add the fact that my husband, who was supposed to be responsible for the dinner making, dropped the ball on his end of the bargain, equals a very tired, pissed off ME.  BUT, my children have come to the rescue!

Last night I was about to fall over from lack of rest and my daughters took over the household.  It's really sad considering it was only Monday and I had just begun my week of work, work, work.  My oldest cooked dinner (yummylicious spaghetti!!!), the second worked on laundry, the third did the dishes, the youngest changed out the trash AND massaged my hands.  I mentioned this to a coworker and she said, "Who are you, the queen?"  My answer?  "YEAH!  Queen of my domain!"  As queen, I am forever grateful for the greatest kids on earth.  Tonight?  Did they retreat back into their downstairs girl-cave to watch television and snack while their half-dead, burnt-out mother cooked and cleaned?  They did NOT!  They did the same thing again, this time with a menu of beef soup, the middle two switched jobs, and the youngest changed out trash AND arranged the shoes.  As I sit in my room trying to settle down to go to sleep, I think about my kids and how much I appreciate them. 

They are not perfect.  They don't listen sometimes, choose to ignore a request until I'm yelling so the whole neighborhood can hear me, and they leave a crumb filled, dirty dishes mess in their basement girl-cave.  Despite their flaws, they are well behaved, giggly, helpful children.  They cook, they clean, they make me laugh, they share my love of chocolate, they enjoy movies, popcorn, old school music, visits to the park, swimming, picnics, shopping, ice cream,...  My list could go on forever!  And no matter how tired I am or how tough my day has been, my girls are there for me, making me feel like a queen.  Of my domain.