The Future's So Bright...

When your kid gets into a college that's right for them, you know you did something right!
Life in the Fast Brain | posted by Kristen Caven

This is what it feels like to WIN parenthood.

— Kristen Caven

Somehow, we did it.

On the nail-biting roller-coaster-ride of high school report cards, my husband "Dave" and I had stopped taking for granted the fact that Enzo would go to college, even though that had been his goal, and our assumption, all his life.

I had learned, in the struggle, that students with ADHD have the highest rates of dropping out of high school. We had learned to cheer when he managed to bring home a ‘C’ in a class he had struggled with.

We were prepared for the rejection letter from his top college choice, his fancy “reach” school. The counselor we’d hired to help point us in the right direction had impressed on him that there was only a 4% chance of someone with his grades getting into a program that only accepted 11% of applicants anyway… but a .0044% chance was, to him, a positive thing, still a chance, and he did some good writing on the application process.

But we weren’t prepared for the other rejection letters from his “target” and “safety” schools. But rejections come to every student these days, even the ones with 4.2 grade averages who apply to state schools.

And we certainly weren’t prepared when he told us he had been accepted to a college that he had applied to on a lark, the one where all his brilliant friends were going—one we were sure he could never get into! The day we visited campus and he enrolled, I was so impressed, every time we turned around, at what a good fit it was for him. My heart just kept soaring, and I laughed at myself for thinking, “This is what it feels like to WIN parenthood.”

Now, of course, the true test is whether he will be happy there (we think he will) and be able to stay on task (we think he will) and complete his transition into adulthood. But the lesson I learned was profound.

I learned to trust him. For all the effort and worry we had put into matching him up with the perfect school, into helping him because he misses details, he got what he wanted by following his heart. We had given him the support he needed, but mostly we had supported him in figuring out what he wanted. And when you are living with an interest-driven mind, you need to be able to listen to yourself.

I just couldn’t be more proud.

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