I have a lot of pride for my daughters. Each is extraordinary in her own way. Each impresses me. Each makes me feel like I’ve done an OK job on this parenting adventure.
It’s been a few days, so many of you have already heard, but Taylor officially “clicked the button” as she referred to it, and accepted her appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. She ships out in late June for basic training.
I try not to take too much direct credit for her success. In reality, her success is her own, it is not mine. I don’t view myself as a success because she is kicking ass. I had a setback just the other day. She and I talked about it, just like we do with her challenges. On the way to success, there are lots of wins and losses. That’s how you play the game.
As I wrote about in my ‘Fatherhood‘ series, the latter stages of adolescence, where all of these personality traits develop, happens mostly on their own. We cultivate and coach, but if we are doing our jobs right, there is very little direct involvement.
For my part, over the years I have taught Taylor general stuff. How to; stay calm, ski, assess a situation, get organized with lists and a calendar, drive a manual transmission, write effectively, think critically, speak clearly, and proper weightlifting and exercise techniques. There is a lot of other stuff in there, but nothing that directly lead to her appointment at USAFA. I taught her what I thought were good life-skills for being an adult and a passionate and honorable American. She took those lessons, along with other contributions from family and friends, and turned them into the stellar trifecta of a resume, coupled with her straight A’s, that probably earned her 3 Congressional nominations and her appointment: Captain of the soccer team, Unit Commander of JROTC, Solo’d as a private pilot.
What I respect most in Taylor is her grit, work-ethic and determination. She put in the hard work. I may have sat up with her, but not once did I ever do her work for her. The other day she was very humble in thanking me for everything Megan and I gave her. I joked that our deal, where we provided and she focused on school and extracurricular activities, paid off pretty well. What other part time jobs could she have done that earn a $250k education plus a career, for free!?!
It has been a long road. And Taylor’s decision was actually not all that easy. Her ‘second choice’ was a full ride at WPI courtesy of a Type 1 ROTC scholarship…not too shabby. Even the Colonel of their wing noted that he wouldn’t have wanted to make that choice. In the end, Tay has a great future in front of her. Beware, Sara and I will be loading up on Air Force & USAFA ‘proud parent’ swag pretty soon. Yes, there will be logos on the bus.
So now my thanks to Taylor. Thank you for your love and for making me proud of what you have done and where you are heading. It has been my distinct honor to come along for the ride…or flight, as it might be! #LetsFly