Written on March 6, 2018
Happy 21st birthday, daughter of mine. In keeping with my other kids’ 2018 birthday posts, here is one of Sister looking a bit sad eating her cake (best one we have) and one in our beloved Sierras the summer before she entered.
I promised @hallielord and her listeners a lighter post about Sister. These are a few of the funny things. 😊
There were things that happened that made us wonder if Grace had a vocation, but she was too young for us to take them seriously. After our crazy 2013 when we adopted a baby, nearly lost a child, and sent our oldest off to college, we should have collapsed. But Grace was a Junior and I told her that we needed to think about college and the SAT. She, not my most communicative child, said something so important, so big. She said, “Mom, I don’t think I want to go to college, I think I have a vocation.” And I said, “Oh no, you’re going to college. You can work out your vocation at college.” Yes I did. She didn’t speak of it again.
About five months later, one of our priests, young enough to be my kid, caught me after Mass. He started by asking if we knew that Grace had been talking to him about her vocation. I bet she had since I pretty much shut her down. He shared some things and the seriousness of it all hit me. I started crying. He was probably regretting that he hadn’t caught Cash instead. After sharing, he ever so gently asked, “so about college…?” He is the best. I blubbered something along the lines of who cares about college!
Fast forward and she had visited a monastery and had a plane ticket for another. She’s a senior at this point and on track to graduate early. I remember being in church and her showing me in the missal that St. Therese entered at 15. I’m all let’s see how old St. Teresa was and said that I would make her finish high school! Then somewhere in there she kind of panicked and started saying things about having a back-up plan and taking the SAT and applying just in case the orders might tell her she needed to. Then I panicked thinking we had pretty much slacked off on most things academic. I was doubtful she could even get in.
She signed up for the SAT and I had to force her to study, say things like you are 17 and I am your mom so you must sit at the computer and take practice tests! My homeschool mom pride was all we’re not taking this and failing. But she was miserable. She groaned and moaned sitting there. Then I’d catch her in her room in the evening sitting on her bed surrounded by literature from various orders and notes from different Mothers. She would be glowing! I pointed this out but she was still so confused. Finally at one of our family meetings a few days before the big test, she broke down and dad said the right things and we made the decision to simply postpone the SAT. Instant peace. She flew off for a week-long visit and when she returned college was back off the table. She never took the SAT.
She would graduate, make another monastery visit, and go on an incredible pilgrimage to Lisuiex and Rome before she entered.
This got so long! Happy birthday, Sister Marie Elizabeth! I think I’m going to share these posts with her at our next visit. 😄