I know a woman who has "struggled" a bit with her second child. First child joined clubs, earned straight A's, garnered scholarships, nailed internships. (Note the resume/cover letter active verbs here.) First child got money to attend prestigious private college. First child upon graduation quickly landed coolest job in the world in coolest city in the world. First born, frankly, is a poster child for boomer parenthood. Second child? Always wanted to be a PE teacher. One day, I asked mom what colleges second child was applying to.
Mom said, after a pause, "She'll probably go to a..."
She paused again. Then added, I swear, in a stage whisper, "state school."
I instantly thought of Rob Lowe. (See clip below.)
St. Elmo's Fire: "prison"
I happen to like this mom very, very much. In fact, I helped her first child get into that fancy college by helping her edit her personal statement/essay. We sort of laughed after we both realized she had whispered the "dirty words." Still, I think of this encounter often. I think about how skewed we've become. How parents surely mean well but somehow get caught up in the hysteria. How I have seen college students cry because they received an A- rather than an A. When did so much shame enter into the picture?