Emily at 2 years old, on her way to her first morning of preschool, the same place George goes now.
Emily at 17 years old, prom night.
Somewhere in there, my artist baby decided she wanted to be a scientist, too. And while she never stopped being a poet, and she continued to do phenomenal things with her music,
she somehow managed to get her dual enrollment things all done at Myers Park and the NC school of science and math…. and decided that despite the fact that college educated adults were competing for the jobs at the mall and at the fast food places, that she would figure out what were the best lab research jobs in the US for physics and start applying.
Our decision was that if she was going to take a far away research lab job, it couldn’t be a net financial loss for the summer. Most of these jobs are unpaid internships, so by the time you fly there, pay housing, eat…. well, it adds up and we decided it wouldn’t be possible, even if it was very interesting.
So that eliminated all but the most elite summer research programs… the ones that took maybe one of every five hundred qualified applicants, the ones that paid a salary greater than minimum wage and provided housing…. and she waited and she waited, and she interviewed and she interviewed. The longer it took the more easily I rested, assuming that if she were going to get an offer we would have heard already.
Then happy physics major daughter gets a summer job offer at the National Nuclear Lab in Idaho Falls, Idaho. With a salary. With housing. With an amazing job (back to my artist baby again) making science training videos. Quietly admits to mama that she is, indeed, the only girl, but what do you expect…. she was the only girl in her math class, one of only a few girls in the rest of her science classes.
So she turns away from me, finally, in the airport, with her backpack full of computer parts and her viola in her right hand, must be carried on, too precious to check. And she got there safely, the people are nice and the work is hard but good. She is truly grateful to be working, especially grateful to be working in her field. And I miss her dreadfully.