First there was the recommendation from her sewing teacher.  Then there was the phone call to set up an interview.  The interview was during the Thanksgiving break in a hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.  She was recommended for the next step.  There was paperwork to be filled out, recommendation letters needed, fees to be paid, and an “admittance project” to be completed.  She worked hard.  Everything was mailed off and she waited for the next interview to be scheduled.  We were at the mall yesterday when she received word that her final interview would be today at 11:30 over the phone.

She locked herself in my bedroom for the interview because that was the least likely spot for interruptions.  The phone rang and I vacated my room to leave her alone for this most important interview.  I paced a bit, wondering how it was going.  I scrubbed a bathroom sink.  Paced.  Scrubbed a toilet and took out some trash.  Paced.  Washed my hands and added some scratch paper to the junk drawer.  I folded and put away some laundry.  I was standing in the tv room wondering what I should do next when she came bounding down the stairs with tears in her eyes, threw her arms around me, and exclaimed, “I got in!”

Mack did it!  She got accepted to F.I.D.M. (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) for the fall semester.  This is her dream.  Her calling, according to her.  She has wanted to be a fashion designer since her sophomore year of high school.  Though it scares me to death to send her to L.A. to school, I won’t stand in her way.  She is talented and motivated and capable of achieving this dream.  She will leave home in September.

As I work to process the fact that one daughter will be living so far away from home  in Los Angeles, California, I also process the fact that another daughter, Huh, is leaving for school in Arizona in January.  January 1 to be exact. 

Ever since she graduated from high school in June of 2009 I have encouraged Huh to go to school at the campus where her father works.  Heck, tuition is free for her, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that?!  The boyfriend stood in the way, though.  She continued to take online courses like she had been doing since the middle of her senior year in high school.  She worked three jobs.  And then one day she was burned out.  Though she kept the jobs, school stopped.  She hated the business classes her father was having her take.  Not long after, the boyfriend was also out of the picture.  Huh seemed lost.  No direction.  I became increasingly concerned.  Some of her choices were so unwise.

Finally, in desperation, I contacted my ex to see if it was too late for her to be enrolled for January.  It was not.  Though Huh had tried to tell him a few months ago what her dream was, her father hadn’t wanted to accept it.  This time I made him listen to me.  She has no interest in business.  She wants to certify as a personal trainer and get a degree in physical therapy.  With a change in major and the boyfriend no longer an influence, Huh is ready to take this next step.  She is both excited and nervous to be leaving home.  I feel the same way.  She and I will road-trip it to Arizona together.  Once she is set up in her dorm, I will fly home–without her.

I’m pretty sure I will cry on the airplane.

But, this is what our job as parents is, isn’t it?  The ultimate goal…

…to give them wings.