The month and a half that the girl was home was not all rest and relaxation. It was a time of reflection and a re-evaluation of where her future lies. At times it was rocky. At times we cried.
The husband and I knew that she wasn’t totally happy at school but we didn’t realize the depth of that unhappiness. I fully take responsibility for not knowing but on the other hand, the decision to stay at school or come home is not up to me or the husband. It’s up to her.
We did however, want to be a source of support and comfort and provide some guidance along the way. We had to walk a balance between not intruding at all and perhaps helping too much.
After all, she’s our girl and we want nothing more than for her to be happy and to realize how much she has to offer the world.
Early one morning a few weeks ago, I woke the girl up so that she could go to the beach with the dogs and I. It was a gorgeous morning and when we got to the beach we found a low tide phenomena.
The tide was way out to the bay and the frozen snow and ice made it possible for us to walk for almost a 100 yards out on the water.
There was a flock of Canadian geese out resting where the water was not frozen and I walked out as far as I could to them.
I urged the other three to come with me and Ella the dog was a little nervous about the entire thing but there was no reason to be scared. The water was frozen and well, it was only an inch to the bottom.
When the girl urged her to go and started walking with her, Ella decided that it was alright to leave the safety of the beach after all.
We all need the encouragement to step out of our comfort zone and, in spite of our fear, face the unknown and scary.
When she got out to the ice, she realized that she wasn’t going to fall through.
And she began to well – party it up. It was hilarious.
We video taped the entire thing.
Look at the beauty of the water! There was about two inches of ice and barely an inch of water and we can see the sand right through all the layers. I was far out from the beach looking back to shore.
And Ella was too. Do you see our other dog back on the beach? Sometimes we are too set in our ways to try something new. Someone has to stay on the beach.
Ella was having so much fun that she went our further and further.
Then she turned around and saw how far out she was and was so scared that she literally – froze. Once again we laughed at her. It wasn’t very nice but it was so funny.
The girl walked out to get her and urged to “come.”
It wasn’t happening. Sometimes we can encourage someone as much as we can but the unknown is still too scary.
. . . so we have walk out and get them.
It’s only then do they realize they need rescuing and they gladly accept the comfort that brings.
Ella was so relieved and grateful but you know what? There was nothing to be afraid of. The water was an inch deep.
She stayed close to the beach for a while but then decided to venture out again when she felt safe.
You probably realize by now that is more about the girl’s scary adventure than it is about Ella. It sums up last semester pretty well, minus the partying. The girl never made friends and spent most of her time in her room. She claims the school was too small, that it was hard to meet people like her so as a result, she came home almost every weekend – and the school is three hours away. It hurts a mom’s heart.
When we were searching for colleges we all thought a small school, in the middle of a rural part of an adjoining state would be perfect. As it turns out – not so much. The college is about as big as her high school and though the girl is introverted, she’s still very worldly and loves to experience different adventures. A small quiet school in the middle of nowhere doesn’t offer those things.
So what do we do? She decided to go back and finish the year. She did however, begin transfer paperwork to other universities – where she ends up, we don’t know. I do feel that she has a different perspective now. Talking about it has made a big different in how we view the situation.
And then there’s this –
I found this on her SnapChat the other day. Things are getting back to normal . . .
Last semester the thought of trying out for the equitation team was overwhelming. She said to me, “Everyone here is better than me.” I, of course, thought that statement was ludicrous and if you’ve been following my blog for a while (wow, it’s been seven years), you also know that she’s a talented rider. It was the first week of school though and everything was new so I told her that if she didn’t want to tryout, she shouldn’t. Ironically, she decided on the school because of its competitive equitation team and its equestrian program. The equestrian club is the biggest club at school and almost everyone rides. There were a lot of other things to adjust to though and it didn’t seem as important at the time. We understood why she decided not to tryout.
But this semester is different. Before she left she asked her dad and I what we thought if she tried out for the team. We held back our enthusiasm and told her it was a good idea, that perhaps it will give her sometime else to focus on but internally, we were both jumping for joy.
Two days after returning to school she tried out for the team – and made it. Hallelujah!
We pray it will be a great semester for her. We pray that making the team will give her something positive on which to focus. We just pray for our girl – she’s a precious jewel trying to find her way in this big bad scary world.
She may not get as much saddle time as a freshman, but I hope to go to some competitions. Stay tuned for some horse pics! What a journey through life! And it’s just beginning . . .