When I was a kid, my parents said I could be anything. I had lofty career goals. A few of them stuck, but not before making plans to be an oceanographer, a lawyer, an astronaut, and a vet. The whole vet thing was ruled way out when I observed people who actually LOVE animals. Not me so much. Nope.
I actually talked with my high school counselor about being an oceanographer, but again ruled it out because I don’t like the ocean. I really don’t. I mean. I LOVE the atmosphere and all, but I like the ocean on a cloudy day under a blanket with a book. Oh. And again with the animals and blood and grossness. Can’t do it.
Middle school was my NASA phase. It was legit. I watched Space Camp more times than you have said “Tom Foolery” and I even did a fundraiser to send myself to space camp. In Florida. The real thing. My best friend went. I got grounded for sneaking out of the house for a boy. Sigh
The lawyer lost out to the teacher because I hate suits, I hate panty hose, and frankly I just didn’t want to spend that much time at university to get my degree. Also. God told me to be a teacher. I was seven and I was standing in my room drawing on a chalk board teaching my stuffed animals.
So, when Layla Grace, my brilliant ten year old, came home from school and said she wanted to go to Stanford for college and could I please look it up to make sure it wasn’t too far from home, I happily obliged. That was first grade. She has sprouted a love of knowledge and determination that can only be stirred by the Holy Spirit. She regularly asks me questions about college and what I think college will be like at Stanford.
About a year ago, I sat us both down with a cup of coffee (we are decaf drinkers) and we pulled up Stanford’s website and answered any question she could possibly think of. We looked at every page. Hours later, she got up from that computer more determined than ever. She asked if her grades in elementary school matter to a university like Stanford.
For her birthday this last March, we had a friend arrange for us to purchase a hoodie, tree and all, from the gift shop on campus. THE CAMPUS. it was perfect. She hasn’t taken it off much. Not even this summer.
In June, she took it upon herself to write Stanford admissions and ask them all sorts of questions about bettering her chances of getting accepted. I love this girl. How can you not love this girl???? Try it. You won’t last. She’s rad. The end.
Anyway. We contacted our sweatshirt buying friend a few weeks ago. She said she could get us in for a tour. So this morning. After I type this blog. My future tree and I get to load up and take a road trip. Beach. Books. Bookstores. Coffee and lots of it. And lunch and a tour of Stanford.
She may have been seven when she came up with this little plan, but she has been devoted to it since. Sometimes parents can help fan a spark that one day leads to greatness. That’s my plan. Not to tell her to stop worrying because it’s so far away. Not to brush her off and say she probably just heard about Stanford in a movie. Not to douse her dreams because I know that university costs $52,000 a year. I know what it’s like to carry something since you are seven. God put many people in my life to fan that little spark. I am so grateful. My students are grateful.
See you on the flip side! I gotta go fan some sparks.