Is There a Doctor in the House?

Tomorrow will be a wonderfully difficult day for me. The wonderful part is, actually, the end of a very long, determined struggle for my daughter.

Tomorrow, by 12 noon here, my daughter will graduate from Ball State University with a PH.D. in psychology!

She loves (or, at least, loved) Mickey!

As far as I know, she will be the first in our family. There may be another, my Dad said, but we can’t remember, so it’s been a long while.

The difficult part comes in two flavors: First, it will be a long, difficult day for me to, simply, manage. Her graduation is from 10-12 and is about 25 miles away on a huge campus. The logistics are staggering for a person who uses a cane and will be seated in a stadium. Following that, at 4, she has an open house at her apartment, which is about 28 miles the other way. That will be followed by the drive home.

I know that doesn’t sound like much. I know it will a lot more for her; however, I know that I will be exhausted, hopefully not cranky.

Mine were never really “Rugrats” but the change to adults is noted.

The second difficult part is deeper and more cerebral. It will be hard on me to see my daughter all grown up. She is getting married in November, which will complete the picture.

It’s just not difficult to close my eyes and see her all cuddled up under our bed, sleeping in the dust bunnies (she would sleepwalk as a child). Or see her outsmart Mom and Dad in how to get what she wanted with less effort.

That’s our famous story. When the kids were, probably 3 and 5, we bought them a Nintendo for Christmas. They played it a lot, especially, my son. It got to the point that something had to be done.

The agreed-upon decision was to used poker chips, allowing the white to stand for five minutes, the red ten, and the blue twenty-five. These were “earned” markers for the amount of time they could play the Nintendo.

See? Introduced her to a token economy young in life!

They would receive a small amount for the week and have to earn the rest through chores and such. It wasn’t particularly hard to earn them; that wasn’t the point. They had to work in order to play. All went well.

Then, at one point, it was realized that Aarika was playing very little while Aaron, son, was monopolizing the game. He would pay his chips, so, first, I checked to make certain he hadn’t gotten into them. Finally, I asked my little dainty daughter what gives. She was playing with a bunch of dolls, both hers and the GI Joes and such of her brother’s kingdom. She looked up at me and said,

“Oh, I gave brother my chips and I get to play with his dolls.”

No, not my daughter!

I passed this tidbit on to their mother who asked what we should do. I told her,

“Nothing. They haven’t broken any rules, both are working, and both are happy! What an entrepreneur she will be some day!:”

It has, mostly, come to pass. Those memories will remain memories. I have managed to let go and allow both to follow their own dreams. They are doing an excellent job of it.

A dad would have a hard time being more proud of his children. They both, pretty much, got themselves through college. God watches them, so I don’t worry — too much.

But among everything, there is a season passing here. I am not certain whether it is Spring to Summer or Fall to Winter, but the weather (and the times) have changed.

They are grown up and I, well, what do you know? I am still growing up too!

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