This past Saturday I took Sam on a school visit to the University of Waterloo (approximately 80 miles from Toronto) or should I say my ex and I took her along with her girlfriend who’s also interested in going to school there.

Fortunately we’ve got a good relationship so it didn’t feel weird or out of place to be there together with Sam, plus it’s her Alma Mater and so I think she was almost as excited for the visit as Sam.

So far, Sam has applied to McGill for Architecture and the Arts program, and in the coming weeks she will be applying for both Waterloo (System Design Engineering and Mathematics/Statistics) and Queens (Engineering).  In fact, next weekend she’s visiting Queens with another of her friends who’s looking to apply there.

Clearly no matter which school she chooses it will be a great choice!  Each of the schools and programs offers her something different.  Sam is one of those anomalies (in my estimation anyway) in that not only is she a whiz at Math and Science but also has an amazing eye for architecture and design.

I think she’s is feeling pulled in a number of directions because of her innate skills and capabilities…  As I said to her “whatever choice you make will be the right one”  After that you can be whatever you want…just follow your dreams and passions and the rest will sort themselves out!

Fortunately she’s inherited my ex’s math and science brain…thank goodness!  It’s a well documented fact that I struggled through University with a straight C average (at best), but still I graduated and somehow turned out okay. 🙂

Obviously there are a bunch of factors that contributed to my less than stellar start in life from an academic perspective but seriously, if I can make good from where I began, then anyone can!

To be fair I know I have an incredibly powerful and resilient inner drive that more than makes up for any academic shortcomings I may of had, now sprinkle in a dash of self belief, a generous helping of perseverance and big measure of hard work and viola…   Well, that’s my simplistic view I guess. 🙂

Deep down Sam and I are similar except for the math and science brain part, so I have no concern in terms of her ultimately creating the life she wants, no matter what path she chooses to take.

As I look at my path, I’m on my third or fourth reinvention since graduating from University.  All I know for sure is that a University education provides a sound foundation for the future, and that once you have this then it’s really up to the individual to go from there.

I know Sam is excited about going to University next year but with her building excitement the reality is that deep down it fills me with sadness…as I will miss her presence and company just as I have Zach’s.

I can’t imagine my life without Zach and Sam, nor do I want to, but with them both away at school there is no getting around the fact that I will be lonely.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled for them and will always be their biggest cheerleader no matter what, but they have filled such a huge part of my life for so long that there will definitely be a feeling of loss…selfish I know, but there you have it.

This whole growing up thingy is natural, but the knock on effect is “what do I do with myself now?”  Without Zach and Sam living here with me, do I need such a large house?  Should I consider moving to a different city or even country?

There are so many options – I could just move to a condo and stay in Toronto, or I could look for a place in Vancouver so I could enjoy the west coast lifestyle – skiing, hiking especially with all of that natural beauty…I definitely feel the pull west!

Or do I split my time between Italy, Canada and maybe even Australia and keep a condo here so that when the kids are free I could be in town so we could get together or come and stay whenever they wanted?

Having only seen Zach two or three times all of last year, and it appearing to be the same this year then I’m not sure I need to live in Toronto.

Yes, lots of big decisions are in the air.  Still, that being said I’m definitely not planning anything until Sam is firmly ensconced in whatever University she chooses to go to next year.

I know that I’ll have Sam with me at Christmas as we visit family in Australia, plus we have her high school grad present (a trip anywhere for 2 -3 weeks) with me next summer.  She’s still trying to decide but I’m feeling that she’s leaning toward Greece, Italy and maybe France.  How awesome will that be?  🙂

As I think back on all of our trips together I have such beautiful memories…and for this I will be eternally grateful.

Upon reflection,  my strong and loving relationships with Zach and Sam are directly attributable to my decision to put them first rather than my career, and so my leaving the corporate world to follow my passions (of which they were a huge part) have been positively reinforced time and time again over the years and has, and will always be the most important decision of my life.

I feel truly blessed that I’ve had the privilege of raising and nurturing these two incredibly smart, caring, confident and independent human beings.

Much love!