I had a busy weekend. Helped my daughter pack, and brought her back to college for her second semester. Sad to see her leave, but I learned a lot about this young lady. Audrey is my oldest, 18 months older than her sister and 4 years older than her brother. She is the “quiet” one. She has never been a leader, except that she is the oldest, that role usually goes to the younger sister. But in the last year or so, Audrey has grown up a lot.
Does it have to do with the fact she has been attending College, maybe, that she has a boyfriend she has been seeing for two years now? I don’t know, maybe. Does it have to do with the fact she has had a job for 2 ½ years, and has been promoted to Crew Trainer? Yes I think this has a lot to do with it. Her employee review at the end of one year was so good it was embarrassing. She received a “piddlin” raise, then asked for a larger raise a few months later and got it. First time she ever asserted herself. I was very proud of that. I think it has more to do with the fact she is growing up and has to make more decisions on her own.
She wants to be an American History High School teacher, which is a big decision in itself, but what college? where? and more, another big decision. She picked Assumption College in Worcester, MA which for her was a perfect selection (for you out-of-staters Worcester is pronounced Wus-ta). She was assigned a great room-mate, Julia, and her dorm mates tell me that Audrey is wicked smart, (that’s pronounced smaaaat). I picked her up in mid-December. Funny that whenever there is moving and carrying to be done, I bring her or pick her up. When there is nothing to carry, its’ even money my wife will do the transport.
At home she had a lot of fun with her little dog, which had missed her like crazy. She spent a lot of leisure time with her brother playing Assassin’s Creed (I’m so proud), lots of time with the aforementioned boyfriend, either out with friends, at his house or ours. She went to the eye doctor and got glasses. Her room was a mess the whole time, but it was all leaving when she did, so no harm.
So Audrey was home for Christmas break and had the good sense to realize that she would need to work as much as possible during her “vacation” so she would have spending money for the Spring Semester. This is a girl who two years ago did not grasp the concept of saving money. Now she’s good at it, tells her sister that she needs to save money for books and spending when she goes to college next year. There were a couple of weeks Audrey worked nearly 40 hours…good for her. This was the case with all of her friends as well as Daughter #2’s college friends. They all were working significant hours during their time off from school. No privilege, or “I’m on vacation” for this crowd, they’re workers. They recognized that life is hard and that you have to work for a living. Audrey’s books this semester were $300-ish and that is with mostly used books.
Audrey did something else during her time home too. She took initiative. She did laundry, and folded too, she made dinner several times (not something she has ever liked to do) and other things around the house. I have never seen this before. Usually when her mother and/or father are home, dinner is their problem. She offered to make dinner three times while both of us were home and a couple of times when we were not home. The younger sister is usually the one who prepares meals, and is good at it, so for Audrey to want to do it and not defer is different.
Yes, growing up. I hate to say it but she is not my little girl any more. Ok, in my head she’ll always be my little girl. I know I made these sorts of decisions back when I was her age but it is much more satisfying observing and appreciating her new-found good judgment than doing it. It shows that she did pay attention for all those years, in spite of herself.