If Only I Could Bottle Her Enthusiasm

Oh if only I could bottle her enthusiasm and give it back to her down the road when she most needs it. My younger daughter actually said, “I’ll never be this excited about school again!” Then she paused and added, ” At least not until I go to college.” I do believe her, which is why I wish I could save that moment and bring it back at will. Partly, she’s just fed up with Eighth Grade and all the work involved. I hate to tell her that high school will be harder, but I think she knows that. At this moment, it matters not. She got into her sister’s alma mater and signed up for her classes today. Then I bought her a quarter-zip and sweatpants from the spirit shop. It was a heavenly experience. She hasn’t been this excited since I told her that I had tickets to the One Direction Concert last year.

We started off at the sports table where she put down her name and contact information on the volleyball, basketball, and softball lists. We then proceeded to check  in and pick up about a dozen more pieces of paper, including the tryout schedule for sports, the course guide, tuition contract, etc. At that point we split up and she was interviewed while I signed up in the computer lab for access to my daughter’s schedule and grades. The interview was mostly a get-to-know-you exercise, and then we joined back up to wait for a counselor.

Her first year’s schedule is mostly required coursework, but her electives and extra-curriculars show her real interests. She’ll take Freshman Biology, not a required course, but perfect for love of science. Where my older daughter took art every semester, I see my younger daughter taking lots of science. Next up was choosing a language. She has had both French and Spanish in school, but mostly Spanish. I shared with her my dilemma in choosing between the two and recommended she take Spanish. I told her that once she mastered it, she could learn French too. When asked by the counselor, she chose Spanish. She’ll have to test to see whether she’s ready for level 2 or has to start at level 1.

After including all of the required courses, she had one semester class yet to fill. Most Freshwomen take swimming, the only required gym class. An alternative is advanced swimming and weight training. She really liked the idea of taking weights, but then thought of putting off gym until the following year so that she could fit in an acting class. She was struggling with the choice when it dawned on me what the real issue was. I asked the counselor if my daughter could try out for plays even without taking the acting class. When she said “Of course!”, my daughter’s eyes lit up. So, swimming it is. She may need to get in some practice before fall in order to stay in the advanced class and not drop back to the regular one, but there’s time for that.

My daughter is drawn to activity and her high school offers plenty. The real key to her success will be time management and commitment to getting her school work done and not just focusing on sports and acting. One of my joys in parenting is offering my children the opportunity to find their own strengths and the encouragement to reach their potential.

Find the Joy in the Journey…and the Joy in watching the journey unfold for those you love!

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