Maddy had a Plan. Tired of school mid-junior year she decided she would take a gap year after graduation and do Americorp's National Civilian Community Corp, in Denver or Sacramento. It's a cool program -- 18-24 year olds live on a campus in small groups and fan out across the country for various 2-3 week service projects. Trail cutting, house-repair, storm cleaning for a total of ten months. Then back home with $4500 in college money. It was a great plan.
Until school started, the college race began, her friends visiting schools with a frenzy, working on applications, freaking out about leaving home. And Maddy panicked. She suddenly felt uncertain about what she might feel certain about come next August. Maybe she'll want to take a year off and Do Good. Maybe she'll want to move to California with her friend Chloe, get an airless studio apartment and a couple of minimum wage jobs and get residency. Or maybe she'll want to share a cramped dorm room with another kind of freaked 18 year old on a bucolic campus and complain about Freshman Writing & Composition like half the other 18 year olds across the country.
Suddenly my clear and decisive daughter is lost without a decision. Which panics me a little, too.
But I won't let her know that. Instead, (admittedly, softly glad to feel useful with this sudden reappearance of her need for a Mom) I'm nurturing a new Plan. Exploring All Options plan. We'll look at schools more earnestly. We'll explore our California connections. She can apply to Americorps. And we'll maintain confidence that the right choice will emerge at the right time.
All the while reminding her again that the hype's not worth the worry. Sure, the decision's important but not life-threatening important. Not even life-changing important. And certainly not Right and Wrong important. All the options are wonderful, all the roads carry her to cool new experiences and destinations, and she will enjoy any journey she picks.
As our friend Chris says, it's all Good.
Hopefully we'll remember that.