I am picking up my older daughter from boarding school today. She will be home for a week and we are starting to look at colleges over this break. Wow, where did the time go. I have questioned our decision to send her to boarding school recently (I went and hated every minute), but I think she is okay and it has been right for her. However, I’ll bet she won’t want a small college in the corn fields after spending four years in the hills of Connecticut… At heart, she is a city girl– street smart and independent.
She didn’t start out the maverick she has become. Shy, always slightly outside the circle; I watched her in nursery school waiting patiently to start learning amidst the chaos of 4 year olds. We chose an all-girls grade school in the hope that she would feel empowered and find her voice. I was impressed by Carol Gilligan’s findings on girls in the classroom in her book In a Different Voice. And it worked, our daughter blossomed. She blossomed until late middle school when girls can be very cruel. So we moved to be closer to the barn and let her ride to her heart’s content.
As a parent, were these the right decisions? I took a lot of flack from friends with each move and choice we made. I don’t know if there is a right answer. We did, and still do, what we think is best and with good intentions. In the end, my daughter is an extraordinary young woman (my opinion, I am her mother…). Well adjusted and completely focused on civil and human rights, she has certainly found her passion, and more importantly, her voice.