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All I want to do is go to Target

I’m helping my daughter fill out college applications, and write essays, and sign up for SATs, and request college transcripts. And just around the corner, there’ll be financial aid forms to complete. I know all these things are necessary to get into college. However…


All I want to do is go to Target.


That’s my goal – the picture that I carry around in my head. You see, at the end of this process – after all the forms are in, acceptance letters have been received (please!), and grants have been granted (hopefully!), I hear you get to go to Target.


At Target, I will load my cart with sheets, detergent, school supplies, dorm refrigerator, laundry basket, and several packs of Oodles of Noodles. I will pretend I have a say in my daughter’s decision about whether her room should be contemporary or “boho chic.”


Target means, “Hey, everybody! My girl’s going to college! She’s really going!”


Target will mean an end (sorta) to a really, long, difficult journey.


Target is where I want to be…but, I’m not. I’m buried under paperwork and decisions and my daughter’s dragging feet.


Isn’t that how all our journeys are? We do…and then we wait. Doing and waiting. I suppose we could live life wishing we were at the light at the end of that infamous tunnel. Or maybe, we could choose just enjoy where we are on the way to where we’re going.


So, here I am. Filling out forms and trying not to dread or wish this time away. Trying to take one step, one day at a time and enjoy it – not endure it.


Here is the good side. I have a daughter who is alive and well, thinking about college and actually able to get in one. And, though I’m not sad right now, I will be as I realize that this process will go away…and so will she.


Maybe your Target is vacation, or the end of grad school, or a job change, or the delivery room, or simply crawling onto your crisp sheets at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter. Let’s keep fighting, keep praying, keep doing good. Let’s not get weary or give up. Eventually…we’ll both get to “Target.”


Kendra Timberlake, December 2008

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