As I mentioned in my last post, my little sister is in college now. It's an exciting time for her and all of us; but for her parents and her siblings, it's also a bit scary. I don't have children, but right now, I guess I'm feeling a little parental.
She has a good head on her shoulders, and now, for the first time, she'll have to use it. She navigated the minefield that is high school but she did it with many of the same friends she'd had since grade school and with her parents right there by her side. Now, she's on a totally different playing field ... new environment, new people, new expectations, new experiences.
As I told her, this will be the first test of whether or not she'll be able to apply the lessons we've all tried to teach her over the years. Having been through college, I know more than a bit of what she'll be facing. Underage drinking, the predatory older guys who look at freshmen girls as fresh meat, roommate issues, academic pressures and, most of all, a ton a freedom from supervision, parental and otherwise.
I'd be crazy not to be a little worried. Yet, I have to let her go. I have to trust that she'll do the right thing. I have to believe that she'll use that good head she has on her shoulders. I have to know that she's heard some of the things that her parents and the rest of us have tried to drill into her head over the years.
Still, I have to realize that she'll also do the wrong thing. We all do. She'll make mistakes. She'll get hurt. She'll have setbacks. She will fail. She will be disappointed. She'll experience pain and although I might see it coming from a mile away, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Again, I'll have to trust that she'll get back up, wipe herself off, learn her lessons, and continue to move forward.
I have to trust and believe that through the good and the bad, she'll become the awesome woman I always knew she'd be.