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January 4, 2018

Moving to Standby

by Lisa Salsman

Change. Change is tough. Change is uncomfortable. Change is uncomfortably tough. So, why do we insist on it? Because one thing is more uncomfortable than change – not changing.

Change this week came in the form of my daughter registering for her first college classes. She is only 16, and I still struggle to accept that she can drive away in the car without me beside her. Certainly, she needed my help to sign up for college! Right? Well, no actually, she didn’t. In fact, as my wise and wonderful friend who works at the college insisted, as she directed me away from the registration computer, my daughter needed to do it herself. And so, I moved back as my daughter stepped forward, and with each click of the mouse, learned to register herself for a semester of college. And my discomfort as a parent who was not the one in control became my pride in a young woman who didn’t need my help.

Once that occurred, it became clear to me that this would be the only time that I would stand beside her in that building. This would be the only time she would need me to be there. The introduction had been made; it was time to step aside. To continue to walk beside her would make me the third wheel in her relationship with college.

I made sure to refer her back to my wise and wonderful friend, should she need help. In the bookstore, she met another of my friends who works on campus. That friend too offered to help with anything she might need. Leaving campus, my daughter talked on and on about her plans for the new year – how she would study harder, work extra hours to earn her car, and set new boundaries to keep her focused. None of these goals required my hands on the wheel.


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