I’m a terrible mother. Yes it’s true.
At the end of 2011 as my Blondie Daughter #1 was preparing to go to Melbourne for university I seriously questioned if she would cope. At home she could barely be bothered to put her clothes out for me to wash. I decided way before she was even contemplating booking travel to Melbourne that I would not help her one bit.
Nope. No help from mum. My rational was that if she couldn’t organise herself to get over to Melbourne and all the paper work for uni entrance and organising accommodation, there was no way she’d survive living there day to day.
This daughter of mine chipped away at the many complex forms; getting together all the necessary documentation, doing a budget, applying for this, applying for that. By the end of 2011 her plans were set, her enrolment secured, her accommodation sorted. She was about to live her long held dream of studying at one of Australia’s most prestigious universities AND she had organised it all by herself.
But I was still worried.
The day came and we travelled to Melbourne. It was more economical for Blondie, her little brother Son #1 and myself to fly from Tasmania to Victoria and take her three suitcases than it was to ship her things. Son #1 was a clothes-mule and he loved it. Any excuse to escape the farm and go to the big city.
Then it was time to settle her into her pint-sized room in the accommodation hall. Oh. My. Goodness. Small with new meaning. And the community kitchen? There were hardly any students there and it was already less than clean. We settled her in over the next few days. The last day came and our taxi arrived. Son #1 and I got in. I waved and all I could think of was I’m leaving my baby to live in a dirty dog box. The taxi drove out of sight and I cried all the way from Monash University to Tullamarine airport (over an hour).
Bring on the year 2016. Bring on now. Blondie Daughter #1 has successfully navigated her time at uni. She has not only navigated but she has soared to new heights. She’s had a part time job all the way through and has managed to have consistently good grades. She moved from the dirty dog box to another residential hall and then out to a flat. During her time at Monash she was successful with scholarship after scholarship, only small ones but enough to make a difference. It does help to be the daughter of a rural dwelling mum married to a farmer – there are incentives out there to support rural kids getting a tertiary education. One scholarship was based on keeping consistently high marks. She got that every year.
Yes, I am a bad mother. If I was a bird I’d be the mum kicking the little nestling out of the warmth and teaching them to fly as they dropped to the ground.
To say I am proud of my daughter is an understatement. There’ve been a few wobbly moments over the last few years but never was she unable to cope. She has excelled.
On your Gradation Week My Darling, I want to say you are wonderful. You are an independent, strong woman who knows what you want and who isn’t afraid to work hard to get it. I am so proud of you. Stand strong and tall. This Graduation is but a moment in time but a special moment to look back at all you have accomplished before launching off to follow and chase down more dreams.
AND on Mother’s Day she ran her very first fun run, The Mother’s Day Classic. Well done Isabelle. Nothing is outside your reach if you put your mind to it and work hard.
We runners can take a leaf out of Blondie’s book. Don’t take no for an answer. Don’t dwell on other people’s less than enthusiastic opinions of our dreams and plans. Plan out a way forward, keep on running and working at those goals and one day we too will fly. Never give up!
Isabelle, I’m glad I was wrong.
Happy running 🙂