November 17th, 2012
On My Mind

Time flies

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.

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  • My daughter just turned 10 and I know I’m about two blinks away from looking at colleges. I hope I can say that she’s found her voice and passion in a few years; that strikes me as one of the highest goals of these years. xox

    LindseyNovember 17th, 2012  9:24 AM

     
  • Sounds like you have made all of the right decisions to me. Our daughter will begin pre-k at an all girls’ school in the fall.

    Elizabeth H.November 17th, 2012  9:54 AM

     
  • Your daughter is an amazing young woman! Your decisions were all great ones – but she would be amazing in many scenarios! xo

    Lisa EastmanNovember 17th, 2012  9:58 AM

     
  • Thanks for sharing…

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Amy RichardsonNovember 17th, 2012  10:10 AM

     
  • I have never responded to a blog post, but I was so moved by what you wrote about your daughter. You sound like a wonderful mother who has raised a wonderful daughter. Have FUN college hunting. Julie

    JulieNovember 17th, 2012  10:34 AM

     
  • Just a quick note to echo the above sentiments. It was such a lovely post and very appropriate as we too are making new school decisions. Love your blog!

    LisaNovember 17th, 2012  10:52 AM

     
  • You’ve got that right about college! You are a great, admirable, inspiring mother, you have made all the right decisions, and this post is truly moving. I also love the picture! xx

    ACDNovember 17th, 2012  11:48 AM

     
  • lovely!

    katieNovember 17th, 2012  11:55 AM

     
  • The fact that she found a passion outside of herself is proof that you made the right decision for both of you.

    Enjoy your time together.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving

    VeronicaNovember 17th, 2012  12:06 PM

     
  • It sounds like you have made each decision with the best of intentions, self-awareness, open dialogue and lots of love. You’ve done the best you could. How lucky your family is to have had such choices, and to have made them so conscientiously. Happy Thanksgiving.

    ToriNovember 17th, 2012  12:44 PM

     
  • I do not usually comment on blogs, but your post brought tears. We had struggled with our 16 year old son – at times I want to give him back to where he came from – but I vowed never to give up on him and made some difficult decisions. That worked – and today he is a very kind and loving young man – forever thankful for our support and decisions that helped him become who he is today. You brought back a lot of painful memories but it was so worth it. Thank you

    RobynNovember 17th, 2012  1:18 PM

     
  • This really resonated with me but all I can say is that we all try to be the best parents we can be and it’s impossible to get it right all of the time. I am sure we would all admit that our own parents didn’t always get it right either but I think that is part of life’s rich experience and it’s important that children grow up able to sort out their own problems. If every decision we made on their behalf gave them a perfect life I feel that would be wrong…..

    NickyNovember 17th, 2012  2:48 PM

     
  • I too was very moved by your post, and I almost never respond to posts…I just read. Well you have done a wonderful job with your daughter. My daughter is 10 and her school ends with the 4th grade and we are applying to schools for her to attend next year. We are applying to the only all girls boarding school in our area and other schools that we think will be a good fit. I too attended an all girls boarding high school and for me it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I blossomed and found my voice. I ended up becoming a Dr. I have gotten those strange looks from people when I say I went to a boarding school and I want the same for my daughter. Yes, you miss somethings, but you also gain so much more. It’s just my opinion. I had a younger sister who went to the same school and switched to a coed private school after a year. It wasn’t for her. She today is a great child advocate attorney so I am happy my mother had the forsight to help us chose the schools that would help us develop our personalities the most. Good luck with colleges. It sounds like you are more than on the right track. I love reading your posts about clothing options, but reading about your family was wonderful!

    emilyNovember 17th, 2012  4:46 PM

     
  • I went to an all girls boarding school in CT. I think that I both loved it and hated it. I swore that I would NEVER send any of my children to boarding school…..I ate my words. (and it was right for him)

    I hope that you all enjoy looking at schools!

    kayce hughesNovember 17th, 2012  7:07 PM

     
  • If your child’s best interest is behind your decisions as a parent, you do what you have to do. No one holds your child’s interest higher than you do. For every path chosen, one isn’t – you can only do what seems right at the time.

    AprilNovember 18th, 2012  12:56 PM

     
  • I love your post. Every day I am thankful for the amazing woman our daughter has become. Kind and thoughtful beyond words, she even has dedicated her career to helping others conquer cancer (she is a clinical scientist working with human research studies). Not sure if it was our decisions or just the blessings in our life…but what matters is the woman she is today. Happy Thanksgiving !

    SheriNovember 18th, 2012  3:01 PM

     
  • Doing the right thing for your family, regardless of others opinion, is the most important thing. Congratulations on raising and protecting a great girl.

    MarianneNovember 18th, 2012  3:39 PM

     
  • Thanks for this lovely and enlightening post, Preston. I’m facing many of these late middle school decisions now with my son and it’s not easy. It sounds like you have done a wonderful job of parenting!

    KateNovember 18th, 2012  6:06 PM

     
  • Beautiful post Preston . We too are deciding schools for our girl who seems to not found her fit yet- such a harrowing time isn’t it as we, as mothers, are so desperate to not get it wrong. With love, and good intentions and open dialogue I feel we make the best decisions we can, good luck ( and PS love the post!)

    AmandaNovember 18th, 2012  8:20 PM

     
  • I’m truly touched by your post. I went to all girls boarding school in CA. I struggled my first year but look back fondly. I do agree, with a single sex education during the awkward teenage years especially for women.

    ValerieNovember 22nd, 2012  11:13 AM

     
  • I always find it best to be outside ” the circle”. That’s what you call “Keep it Chic”!

    JennNovember 22nd, 2012  9:33 PM

     

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