Today my beautiful daughter starts college. I couldn't be more proud of her- from the start she was perfect, I went into labor at about midnight of her due date & she was born that afternoon. She did everything right about the time she was supposed to or earlier-- like she was walking at 9 months but still didn't have a single tooth. When she tested for kindergarten, the tester accompanying her back to the cafeteria to return her to me was shaking her head... I was thinking "uh oh, she's not ready" but then I got the results and the head shake was due to Paige's extraordinary readiness emotionally to attend school- she wanted to stay LONGER at testing. The only "ding" she had was that her birthday is in Aug. making her younger than most of her classmates. Before she could attend her first day of school, we moved from the Cincinnati area to South Central Kentucky which had started school before we had even moved. Paige had missed about a month of school but quickly became one of the top students.
My kids never attended pre-school-- they did not know how to read when they entered school. I taught them the alphabet & how to write their names but I felt my main duty was to prepare my kids to be able to sit still, listen and be ready to learn-- in other words, I taught my kids self-control & how to behave. This seemed to have served them well because all of my kids are top students and other adults & teachers rave about my kids' behavior.
So last Thursday I drove Paige & her stuff about 15 minutes away to the local university where she will be part of the honors college-- all paid for by scholarship. Yep, her nickname (from another parent) of Perfect Paige seemed to run true again. When she was considering colleges, she was guaranteed full tuition at most in-state universities due to her participation the previous summer in the Governor's Scholar Program. Paul (hubby) told Paige that we would pay for the rest wherever she went because she had done such a wonderful job working in HS to get the grades & scholarships. Even with this offer, she chose to attend local university because her first choice would cost (us) about $10k for room & meals whereas she was automatically eligible for free room & book allowance by attending local university. Her state money for getting good grades in HS would cover her meal plan. She checked into comparison of education because ultimately she plans to go into pharmacy school- the local school would provide her with the education without costing us anything. An incredibly mature decision made almost a year ago-- ironically latest Readers Digest has an article on "10 things every parent should know about college" "1. Beginning adulthood without debt is worth far more than a designer diploma" & "10- Honors colleges at public universities can offer as fine an education as the Ivy League." So she will get her undergraduate degree (Chemistry) for free as long as she keeps her grades up.
During HS she took 3 Advanced Placement classes- Psychology & Biology as a Junior, Chemistry as a Senior. She got 5 on all three year end tests- top score- meaning those HS classes would count as college credit. So for $90 test, she gets college credits-- well-worth it. As an incoming freshman, she is taking organic chemistry this semester!!!
On top of this, she has decided to keep working weekends at her newly acquired job at the Kroger close to home. She feels a certain amount of responsibility to stay on since her best bud vouched for her- Paige had no paid real work experience- although anyone that knows her would hire her in a minute-- she was Valedictorian and was a (paid) tutor since she was a sophomore. Her athletic career (3 years participant at state track meet- took 3rd place this year in triple jump) is a testament to her work ethic... though not exactly gifted physically, she worked her butt off so she attained these successes. It's funny because her supervisor gave her some grief over not having work experience- he obviously doesn't know how lucky he is to have Paige. He also was rather snotty when he asked about # of hours she wanted to work... she only wants weekends due to college starting. He asks "Are your parents rich?" to which she replied "I just need some extra spending money because I got full scholarship." Anyway, I am glad she will be working because it rather forces her to come home on weekends- she doesn't have a car so will need to rely on us to get to work. This may change if she learns how to drive stick- Paul's truck is a stick shift & rarely used because he has co. car for work travel but it only seats 2-- she can't take family (automatic) car to college since I need it to transport boys anywhere.
Saturday morning Paul & I picked her up after our workout at the track (we've been using the college track for years since it's rubberized.) She spent a few hours at home before heading off to Kroger to work her shift. Last night I drove her back after her Sunday shift so she could attend her first class at 8 am this morning. I didn't think I would miss her but it did feel weird-- maybe it was because Paul left for biz trip last night so it was first night without Paige & Paul being home in a very long time. I am sure I will adjust to the new normal-- Paige being on campus vs. up in her room. My little girl is growing up. As I type this my I-tunes is playing "Zoe Jane" by Staind-- this is a song that so reminds me of Paige. I once mentioned that if she has a wedding, she needs to have that song playing to dance with Paul- there won't be a dry eye in the place if that happens.