I sat there, phone in palm, wondering where to go to burst into tears without an entire university student union witnessing it. I read the panicky texts my daughter had sent me over the last couple of hours again and again:
"Do I really want this major?"
"So, now I don't want to go to college."
"I'm never going to find friends here."
It was the second day of an overnight college orientation for my daughter and I was about done with the endless seminars on everything from health on campus to financial aid tips to--no joke--learning football cheers. Some sessions were together, others for parents while students broke into small groups elsewhere. Emotionally and physically exhausted, I longed to be done with putting on the 'isn't this exciting' face for my daughter's sake while all I could think about was how I wouldn't be seeing my sunshine every day anymore come August. At the same time, I want to watch her soar. So, all of a sudden to think maybe this place wasn't for her after all? That her sensitive nature would be her downfall? In the moment, it was all too much.
Now, I have lost 12 pounds over the last few months, but I was so 'done' I decided to hit Starbucks for a frap and a chocolate chip cookie I knew I would pay for in heartburn hours later. Because you know that makes everything all better for the amount of time it takes you to eat it! I had just hit the line when my phone pinged again:
"FOUND A FRIEND!"
This, people, is (one reason) why parents lose their minds.
Still, I started laughing, got off the line without tacking on thousands of calories ... and sent her an "I told you so" gif. Then I hit the ballroom with a smile on my face in time to hear all about transportation around campus.
And it got me thinking: At any given moment, we are potentially seconds away from a positive experience ... a turning point. The key for me is to remember this when I'm losing my mind. So this is my new mantra. May I remember it and may it inspire someone else:
I am mere seconds, minutes, hours, days--one STEP--away from ...
And if you see me NOT remembering this new mantra, smack me up the back of the head, will you? Thanks!