Dear Daughter in the District,
I have wonderful memories of the first time we took you to Washington, DC. You were seven and your sister was ten. You looked in the encyclopedia (in those pre-Google days) to learn all about the government and the monuments so you could help plan the trip. I know you were excited to go this time, too, but maybe not quite as exuberant as your seven-year old self.
Of course you know this, but this trip was quite different than any of our previous visits. This one has some permanence built in. You know how I got just a little teary-eyed when we hugged goodbye? I promise you, I haven’t shed any additional tears. Of course I also haven’t wandered upstairs into your empty bedroom yet, so there is still time.
There are no major words of wisdom I can provide for you and I don’t feel a need. But the long drive home after we helped you settle into your apartment did give me time to reflect on several things.
I very clearly recall that one of your elementary school teachers felt we were pushing you academically. I told her that simply was not true and that you had a very strong tendency to push yourself. She felt that wasn’t possible for a child your age, and we assured her that you had been very much in charge of your own capacity for learning ever since you decided to learn the multiplication tables at the same time your sister learned. Of course you were in preschool at the time, but that didn’t stop you.
You already know this, but Dad and I are very proud of you. Starting law school is a huge milestone! When people tell us that we must be good parents because we have raised terrific daughters, it is humbling. Mainly because we feel that we tried to set a good example and establish some reasonable expectations, but that you both have outpaced any hopes we ever had for you by setting your own goals and then charging full speed ahead to reach them. It’s so exciting to watch you work hard to fulfill your dreams.
Your determination has always been exemplary, perhaps matched only by your level of personal discipline. I really have been in awe of those qualities, which seem to come so naturally to you. The discipline is especially compelling, since those genes seem to have passed me by entirely.
As soon as you were accepted at Georgetown Law, we knew you would choose to go there. Of course you made a show of doing all the right homework, asking questions, getting all the facts, and exploring all of your law school offers before you made your choice. We are delighted that you are able to attend your dream school in a city where important decisions are made all the time. Our hope is that you will continue to feed your voracious mind and thirsty soul in this new and exciting place. Stay true to yourself and you’ll be just fine.
We remain thrilled to stand back and watch as your future unfolds before you. This is a great adventure. Enjoy the ride!