Tuesday, February 26, 2013

School Report & College

Report cards for the first half of the year are in.... ALL A's!!! Yep! Kacey rocked it...but with A LOT of hard work. Those grades don't come easy when you have diabetes and miss 28 days. Frankly, some days just SUCK! On top of the A's, she received an award for Citizenship in Math out of the entire 7th grade classes combined. ***insert proud Mommy moment*** Her teacher gave a speech telling the other students that the person chosen was a kind, outgoing and very hardworking student that deserved the award. Kacey had no idea she was being chosen so she came home with a HUGE confidence boost! To make things a bit more fun, she tried out for Festival Chorus again this year and was chosen along with 39 other students out of the school. Can you say...ALL THINGS MUSIC?!?! So this semester she has Chorus, Music Exploration, Band and every Tues she stays for Festival Chorus. And now she wants to sing with our youth band!! She is so happy when she's singing or playing her sax. Ohhhhh and that brings me to another thing....last Friday she walked out of school with a case the size of a childs coffin! BARITONE SAX!!! Her teacher asked her if she'd like to try it and bought her a mouthpiece and reed for it and sent it home with her for the weekend. SHE IS IN LOVE!!! She likes it better than her Alto Sax and so now she's lugging this "BARI-COFFIN" (as I call it) to school and home every day. I love seeing her so happy! It seems like when she is playing, all the worries of diabetes and crappy days are gone! As a mom, one of the greatest joys is seeing your child so happy. So that's our school update.....onto a tougher subject......

As a parent, your ultimate job is to raise your child to be a strong, functioning and independent adult in society. At least that's what I've been taught! We don't raise our kids to live at home all their lives and mooch off Mommy and Daddy. We want them to grow up. We want them to be responsible. We want the best for them, right? But then there comes a time when you see that happening before your eyes and you shudder for a moment. You cry silently as you see your child growing up and becoming their own person. It happens several times in their life. You celebrate those moments as they grow but then when it comes time to push them to go out on their own, you try and tighten those reigns a little. All of a sudden, you don't want them to grow up so fast. This is the point where I think you can do the ultimate damage. This is the point that either they will fly out on their own or they will be guilted into staying at home because they don't want to leave you. I can speak for myself when I say, I was one that chose to remain at home. When I graduated, my parents had just divorced, my Mom was alone and there was no way I could possibly think about "leaving her". Soon after is when I became pregnant with Kayleigh. It was then that I knew I really wasn't going anywhere and I didn't move out until I met Frankie and we were getting married. Even then, my Mom did what she could to keep me at home. When I moved out, she was devistated! She cried for weeks. She was alone! I felt like I'd hurt her, even though I was 24 years old and it was time for me to "grow up". I swore if I ever had kids, I would NEVER make them feel like that. Well, thats easy to say when you have them. It's easy to say when they are growing up. But depending on the circumstances, it's harder than you may think. Most of you know the turmoil I went through with Kayleigh when she was little. I've always tended to hold her a little closer to my side. She's always tended to stay closer. She never really wanted to venture out of her "comfort zone". So last year when it came time to talk about "going away to school" before graduation, she would cry just thinking about it. She would tell me she didn't want to talk about it. Then she decided that she would go locally to school. She would commute and live at home. Since she was choosing culinary school, they didn't require SAT's or ACT's so her guidance councelor told her to save her money and not take them. Graduation came....and went. Her cake business skyrocketed....and then THE OFFER. She was given the offer of a lifetime....or was it? A very good friend of ours was willing to invest a large sum of money to help her get a bakery going in our local town. He had confidence in her work since he'd tasted it and seen it on her website. He saw the reviews she was getting and he was willing to take the risk and all we had to do was find the location and write the business plan. For an 18 year old, life seemed to be falling into place and her dreams were right before her eyes and being handed to her on a silver platter! Easier said than done! Findind a location was proving to be more difficult than we thought. When we finally thought we found a location, we met with the property managers not once but THREE different times. They were frustrated that we were not jumping to sign a contract so quick and we were frustrated that brick walls were being put in the way. It seemed like every time we broke through a wall, God slammed another one down in front of us. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason and I was beginning to have some doubt. Was this Satan telling me that we couldn't do it or was it God telling me that we needed to take another path? The best thing I could do was pray about it and ask God to show us what path to take? As I prayed, I started to get an unsettling feeling about the location. Maybe that wasn't the right one. Maybe opening the bakery isn't what Kay should be doing. As she pushed forward with the business plan and other legal stuff, more brick walls started to appear and she started to get frustrated. There were things that I just couldn't help her with....business stuff and legal mumbo jumbo that were out of my league. Did we really give thought to running retail? Running it from home was a ballgame but running retail was entirely new game and it was something I really didn't know about. The frustrations grew and as we were driving to meet a client, I turned to Kayleigh in the front seat and said, "What do you want to do with your life?" She looked at me dumbfounded and said, "I want to open the bakery". I then started posing questions like, "Who is going to work if you get sick?", "Who will work if I get sick?", "What happens if diabetes throws a curve ball and I can't come in because I am with your sister?", "Who will run the front while we are in the back?", "What happens if you want a day off or vacation?", "What about your friends and your life?", "What happens in 5 years when you are burnt out and decide you've had enough?".....You've been doing this since you were 13....thats 5 years already! In 5 more years, you will be 10 years into this and what happens when you say you're done with cakes and baking? You have NOTHING to fall back on! Opening a bakery will be like giving birth to a child. It WILL be your life and it WILL consume your life, even if it's closed on Sundays, your entire life will be spent around baking...the same way it's been spent the last 5 years! She's had to plan her life around cakes....her social life and her personal life. The same when you have a child....everything is planned around that baby. I got pregant at 18, gave birth a month after my 19th birthday....I DON'T WANT THAT LIFE FOR HER!!! I don't want her locking herself into something I can see happening. My suggestion...how about college? THE C WORD!!! It was almost as if I'd said the F word. The tears were already rolling and this compiled them and she was sniffling. Her reply, "College isn't for me! College is too big! I don't want to go away!" Excuses! Excuses! She had a meeting with her best friend's mom for her birthday cake so I let her get herself together. When she came in, she knew something was wrong. We talked to her about what we'd just discussed and she told Kay that she had to side with her mom on this one. I was right!

And then....the wheels started to turn!

Maybe college wasn't a bad idea after all? For so many years, Kay has done what she's always dreamed but it wasn't a bad thing to take a break and LIVE LIFE! There is life outside of baking and cakes. There is life outside of our town. There is a life that she hasn't lived the way her friends have because she has been so focused being a "grown up" living at home. As we talked and criend together, I wanted her to know that I was ok with her going away. I wanted the best for her and I wanted her to experience all those things that I couldn't because I was at home with responsibilities of being MOM! I never pawned her off on my Mom as a baby. Even though I lived at home, I went to work daily (and she went with me) and I came home and took care of her. I had NO social life. I spent every moment I could with her and that is EXACTLY what I've done for 18 years now. When she started her business, I was helping her bake. I was mixing icing. I was driving her for deliveries. And it's been that way for 5 years now! We've spent every single moment together and it's time for her to have her space. It's time for her to spread her wings and live life away from me. As much as it kills me and I've cried LOTS of silent tears lately, I don't want her to see it upset me. I have to keep the strong Mommy face because I know the moment she sees me upset, she is going to backslide and get upset and not want to go. Why? For the same reason I felt that way when I was 18....I didn't want to see my Mom upset. I didn't want to make my Mom cry. I didn't want to be a disappointment. I didn't want my Mom to hurt. I am closer to Kayleigh than I ever was with my Mom. We share everything and I know if she sees me cry, then she won't go. Soooooo.....what's happened since that meeting on 1-22-13?

That night, we went home and pulled University of Mary Washington up on the laptop. We clicked onto the Common App and FILLED IT OUT! Within 4 days, she'd written 3 essays. On 1-28-13, she clicked SUBMIT and applied to UMW! We cried, we laughed and we hugged. The application deadline for UMW was 2-1-13. Can you believe it?!?! If she had waited any longer, she would have missed the deadline and would have had to wait until spring to register. And.....those brick walls....well they've all seemed to have fallen into place. If only we'd listened to God and heard what He was trying to tell us. She called her mentor to tell him what was happening and he told her that for a week straight he went to the parking lot of the location we'd picked out and prayed over it. He said there was hardly any foot traffic but he didn't know how to tell her without upsetting her that the location was wrong and not a good one. FUNNY HUH?!?! God's plan....NOT OURS! I laughed and told Kayleigh that this whole time God was behind her making funny faces and sticking his tongue out at her and laughing while she beat her head against those walls. We started a board on Pinterest for Dorm ideas. The more we pinned, the more excited she got! And then on 2-18-13, we made the 2 hour drive to Fredericksburg to take the tour of UMW. That sealed it for her....she's going! We fell in love with the campus. We fell in love with the surrounding area. She WANTS to go! And now here I sit....feeling like that Mom that wants to pull those reigns back in. Some days I cry more than others knowing that she can't just "come home" on the weekends. Oh yeah....and those SAT's she DIDN'T TAKE....she now has to take them on March 9. That is the only thing holding her application up. She will know in April if she gets in and if she doesn't then she will take the SATs again in April and May and register for the spring. She will continue to apply until she gets in!

So there ya have it....the drama of my life for the last month. I've struggled with writing through tears. I couldn't even begin to sit down and talk about her leaving a month ago. I've come to grips with it now and I can talk without busting into tears. It's still hard to watch them flap their wings and soar on their own. I know she will do GREAT! She has a strong Momma to lean on! ;) Heehee! It's going to be rocky....it's going to be hard.....but ultimately it's going to be fun and she will be living the time of her life! Fly baby.....flyyyyyyy!