I was in the break room when she called. My daughter.
The last few weeks have been one frantic phone call after another. Flat tires, towing bills, car repairs, sorority drama, taxes, stress.
I answer. “Hey! What’s up?”
“Mom, guess what?”
She sounds like she’s near tears. Oh God! Now what?
“I give up. What?”
She’s full on crying now. “I got into nursing school.”
I hear the words but the crying is throwing me off. Maybe I heard it incorrectly and she’s crying because she didn’t get in. I decide to repeat what she’s told me.
“You got in?”
Tears begin to well up in my eyes as well. I know how hard she’s worked for this. I know how she’s stressed herself out about it, how she doubted herself, how she thought she wouldn’t get in because she didn’t get A’s in everything. “B’s don’t get degrees!” she told me once.
Well, that’s ridiculous. Of course they do! I remember giving her a pep talk back in November when she was stressing out about narrowly making it in. “You know what they call the person who graduates last in their class from medical school? Doctor.” The key to that speech was no matter if she was admitted as the top student or the last one on the list she was going to make a kickass nurse.
She did it. She got admitted to the nursing program. A year and a half of hard work, tough classes, and endless stress thinking she wasn’t good enough has resulted in this amazing announcement.
She is one step closer to realizing her dream. She’s one step closer to financial independence and no longer relying upon her father via his spousal support paid to me.
I was the first person she told. Of course, after I verified that she did indeed get in I had to tell her, “I told you so!” And I had. I never for one moment believed she wouldn’t get in. I always knew she had what it took.
My baby is going to be a nurse. She’s going to be able to support herself and her children, should she decide to have them. She’s not going to make the same mistakes I did. At least not that one.
On the home front my son came up to me last night and declared he wanted me to take him out driving. He said something about not putting it off and confronting his fears.
“What the hell did you guys talk about in therapy today?” was my response.
He assured me it had nothing to do with therapy. This was not an assignment.
This is the boy who has had his learner’s permit since October. Of 2018. He’s driven exactly 45 minutes in that time. He says it terrifies him.
Tonight I came home, changed clothes, ran my entire 28 minutes (yea me! I’m very slow, though) and then we went out driving.
I took him to a parking lot so he could get comfortable with everything, seeing as how he hasn’t driven since July. That lasted for all of 5 or 10 minutes. He was ready to try the actual road.
“Before we begin I just want to make sure. We drive on the right side of the road in this country, right?”
Oh sweet baby Jesus! I thought it was bad enough when I had to clarify yet again which pedal was the brake and which was the gas.
He begins driving in the slower areas of the subdivision. After another 5-10 minutes of this he’s gaining confidence. He tells me he’s feeling pretty good about this driving stuff. I offer to let him drive around in the parking lot some more.
“I’m liking the roads. It’s like a track. It keeps me in line and gives me a guide.”
Yes, the road is very much like a track.
By the end of it he had driven 40 minutes. He nearly doubled his driving time. The most important part though is he was feeling much more confident about driving. He was even offering to go drive somewhere to get food.
Perhaps we will tackle that task in the next lesson or two. I think I will soon have another driver in the family.