Thursday, June 02, 2005

Milestones


emma, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

Awhile back, i wrote a post called Acorns and Oak Trees, about the quirky kid that I was and the quirky kids that I have.

My daughter, about 9 years old in this picture but turning 20 this year, is about to live on her own for the first time. She's moving into an apartment with two friends, while she works two part-time jobs.

Although she had SAT scores that could have propelled her right into a great college, her high school GPA reflected the fact that she did very little work. The sophomore Social Studies paper that was required to graduate? She handed it in on graduation day.

She's a very talented graphic designer and writer, and as a Buffy fanatic she has spent a lot of time and energy writing fan fiction and creating fanlistings. You can see her work here (click the word "current"). Although I took her on tours of RISD and other art schools, she adamantly maintained that she's not a 'school person' wanted to work.

Tensions ran high between us in the last year of high school, so I suggested she move in with her dad and his wife and daughter. That decision probably saved our relationship.

After having worked mostly in retail, she recently got a job at a radio station in Woodstock, NY (where her dad lives) designing concert posters and working on their website. It heartens me to know that she's finally putting her talents to good use...but I still wish she'd go back to school.

The irony of all this? After high school, I moved out of my parents' house and moved in with an older man. I couldn't wait to work and make my own money, but I was far from independent. I lived in that bone-shatteringly abusive relationship for five years before finally extricating myself. It was then that I moved to Manhattan, alone, and started going to NYU at night after work. I never finished.

Maybe I'd like to spare my child the years of 'on the job training" I had to do before finally making a career for myself. But deep down I know that she has to make her own way...that she is FAR better off emotionally than I was...and that I am incredibly proud of the person that she is.

My life has held surprises around every corner, some good and some not so good, but I've never been bored. I think the same will be true for my little acorn.

I think she'd kill me if I posted a recent picture of her, but she's beautiful!