Life in the ‘Only Child’ Limelight
Our son, the center of our universe and, well, our only child. If there’s something to praise or a pot to stir, guess who’s in the middle? Yep, our kiddo. Parents of singletons will agree – it’s relentless! It’s like parents of multiple kids get “commercial breaks,” while we’re streaming our parenting 24/7 without intermission.
Wishing for A Sibling Distraction
A friend recently joked that our son probably daydreams of a mischievous sibling to divert some of the parental heat. Guilty as charged! From schoolwork to hobbies, our “parental magnifying glass” (as he calls it) misses nothing.
His junior year? Think of a pot simmering at 451 degrees! Between college prep and the usual teenage antics, the kid’s plate is overflowing.
All Aboard the College Planning Express!
And then, like the enthusiastic (read: overly-eager) parents we are, we jumped onto the “college planning” train. Everyone’s doing it, right? It promised a roadmap to the perfect college, but, spoiler alert, it mostly added heaps of homework to his already piled-high plate. Suddenly, our 16-year-old is facing questions most adults would balk at. “Choose a major, pick a life path, and, by the way, any thoughts on internships next summer?”
Time for A Reality Check
In the midst of this whirlwind, a pause button was desperately needed. I mean, when I was 16, I was nowhere close to deciding between electrical engineering or computer science! Looking back, I wonder if our ambition for him was more about our own ego? A feather in the “parenting cap,” so to speak?
A Splash of Serendipity
Here’s the ironic bit: life’s often shaped by sheer serendipity, not meticulous planning.
Case in point? My wife started as a dance major, dreaming of pirouettes, only to pirouette right into accounting! And me? A mix-up between ‘Harvard’ and ‘Harbor’ kickstarted my career.
So, What’s The Real Deal?
The wisdom we’ve gleaned? Let. It. Go. Shower them with love, not plans. Give them the freedom to trip, fall, and pick themselves up again.
A Surprise Ending (or Beginning?)
Update: After aiming for all UC campuses and the COVID rollercoaster, our son’s now at a college we hadn’t even considered. Best part? He’s loving every bit of it!