There's nothing like talking to other parents and comparing notes to make you feel like you're behind. It starts in preschool.
"Is you daughter reading yet?"
"Do you know where she's going to kindergarten?"
While I am a very organized person, I also have a very busy life. So, sometimes, things get away from me, and then, all of a sudden, I am in crisis mode trying to get everything in order quickly. Thankfully, my 27-year career in television news has taught me how to do this fairly well.
Most recently, I have been getting nervous about college preparation as my daughter is a rising junior.
"Has she taken an SAT prep course yet?"
"Has she started working on her application essays?"
"Does she have her list of schools yet that she wants to apply to?"
"Have you done your college visits yet?"
This last one curls my toes every time I hear it. We have spent the last few vacations visiting with family, not visiting colleges. Are we behind? I don't know. But as a result of my growing anxiety, I scheduled a few visits on the way home to North Carolina from New Jersey. I also went ahead and booked future visits at a few North Carolina schools before the summer ends.
Maybe I dragged my feet because I didn't want to believe this time has actually arrived. Just yesterday I was registering her for kindergarten, and now, we are here, getting ready to send her off into the world, hoping we have given her the correct tools to thrive. Eighteen years goes by in the blink of an eye. We borrow them for that brief period of time, and then they belong to the world.
My daughter is a smart, strong, capable, hard-working young woman. Any college will be lucky to have her. She will find the right fit, I am sure, regardless of what I do, or don't do, as her mother.
Even in this heat, I can sense cooler fall temperatures around the corner ... because the fall of 2018 is truly just around the corner.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.