Challenge Accepted

It’s been a crazy 2 weeks around here.  We’ve moved three kids and all of their stuff home from college.

We’re in the midst of readjusting to new schedules and newly independent kids coming back home to mom’s and dad’s rules.

And oh the laundry.  Mattress covers, sheets, blankets, towels, and clothes.  The smell of college kid’s laundry is indescribable.

The chaos of having kids home and having their friends around for the next few months has started.

But, the good news is that we have a new college graduate!

Our middle child.  The child who climbed out of her crib and on top of the piano when she was 15 months old.  The toddler who liked to line up the shoes by the back door.  The 4th grader who wrote a report on Harriet Woods for her Famous Missourians report and ended up talking to her, live, on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show.  The 10-year-old kid who unselfishly gave up having her own bedroom to share with our 5th (but second oldest) daughter who came to live with us when she was just 13.  The kid who graciously managed to move twice while in high school when DSH went through a few years of difficult job changes.

A little more than four years ago, she had no idea where she wanted to go to college or what she wanted to study.  The mother of her boyfriend at the time suggested that, since she was so good in math and science, she might want to consider a career in engineering.  So on the way back from a campus visit to another college, we stopped by the University of Missouri – Rolla (now known as the Missouri University of Science & Technology).

A few weeks later, she attended a WISE (Women in Science & Engineering) camp for high school girls.  She was hooked.  Within a few weeks, she was enrolled, registered, and ready to start college.

But, I was worried.  I knew that she would be able to handle the academics, but I was concerned about her having a full college experience of work and fun.  Yes, I wanted her to have fun because I spent all of my younger years working hard and not taking the time to have some fun, and I believe you need that balance in your life.

I shouldn’t have worried so much.  Our middle child has worked hard (as evidenced by her academic and leadership honors), and she has partied hard.  We won’t go into that evidence.

She has had a few bumps in the road along the way, but she has managed them on her own with some moral support from us.  She has made friends for a lifetime, graduated with a degree from a school that she loves, and is ready to go to work in the field and with the company that she wanted.

We listened to her sorority sisters say, “challenge accepted” several times during her graduation party.

It made me think that when a couple decides to have children, the goal is to raise them to be happy, productive, and independent members of society.

I guess we can say – challenge accepted.  Goal achieved.

Or as DSH says – three down, two to go.

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